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   Cruise Travel - Cruise News

Cruise Club is a free service, and when you join, you will begin receiving weekly updates including the latest cruise news and cruise specialsWelcome to this week's edition of Cruise News, the best place on the Web to find up-to-date information about cruises. To automatically receive Cruise News via email each week, join our Cruise Club.

For up to the minute news, stop by Cruise Talk anytime to post a message or find out what your fellow passengers and industry insiders are saying about a particular ship, cruise line or destination.


Cruise News - September 14, 2020

Carnival Cruise Line Announces Modifications To Fleet And Sailing Plans For Certain Ships
Carnival Cruise Line today announced the sale of Carnival Fascination and Carnival Imagination, which had previously been put on long-term lay-up status and removed from published itineraries.

The sale of Carnival Fascination, launched in 1994, and Carnival Imagination, introduced in 1995, is in line with Carnival Corporation's plan to accelerate the removal of less efficient ships from its fleet. This follows the sale of Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Inspiration which took place in July. Upon return to operations, Carnival will still operate four upgraded Fantasy-class ships – Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Sensation, Carnival Elation and Carnival Paradise – which feature additional balcony staterooms as well as enhanced dining and entertainment options that are part of the line's Fun Ship 2.0 enhancement program.

"While we are sad to see Carnival Fascination and Carnival Imagination leave our fleet, it is a necessary move as it allows us to focus on ships that offer the greatest variety of features and stateroom accommodations for our guests," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

Related to its ongoing ship enhancement program and the current pause in cruise operations, Carnival also advised guests and travel agents that it is delaying the return to guest operations for four ships until after scheduled dry dock enhancements are completed in the first half of 2021.

The four impacted ships and resulting cancelled itineraries include:

• Carnival Magic itineraries operating from Miami will be cancelled until Mar. 13, 2021

• Carnival Paradise itineraries operating from Tampa will be cancelled until Mar. 19, 2021

• Carnival Valor itineraries operating from New Orleans will be cancelled until Apr. 29, 2021 (including the transatlantic cruise from New Orleans on Jan. 25, 2021 and the return from Barcelona on Feb. 26, 2021)

• Carnival Spirit itineraries operating from Brisbane will be cancelled through May 16, 2021, with the first sailing being the Singapore to Brisbane voyage embarking on June 12, 2021.

"This extended pause in our operations has also impacted shipyard availability, and we've had to reschedule required dry docks. As we continue to work through issues related to our eventual return to operations, we are committed to providing our guests and travel agent partners with certainty where we can, although we regret disappointing our guests. We appreciate the continued support and understanding of our guests and hope to welcome them back on board soon," Duffy said.

Costa Cruises Presents New Itineraries For Winter 2020-2021
Costa Cruises announced this week that it is ready to set sail for a 2020-2021 winter season rich in exciting holiday opportunities. After announcing in recent days the restart of its cruise operations starting this month with Costa Deliziosa and Costa Diadema, the Italian company has redesigned its itineraries from October 2020 to March 2021 with the gradual return of an increasing number of ships, always offering enhanced safety as a result of new health procedures.

Costa cruises in winter season 2020-2021 will be open to European citizens residing in the countries included in the decree of the Italian Government*, while limitation to Italians only is confirmed in September for the first three departures of Costa Deliziosa (September 6, 13, 20) and the first departure of Costa Diadema (September 19). Details and opening of sales of the new winter itineraries will soon be available on the company's website and from travel agencies. Costa is working with the national governments and the local authorities to offer a safe and positive experience for all its guests through the effective implementation of the Costa Safety Protocol in all destinations.

The big news will be the debut of the new ship Costa Firenze, under construction at Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera (Venice), representing inimitable Italian taste and drawing inspiration for her design from the beauty of Florence during the Renaissance. Starting December 27, guests will be able to discover this latest generation vessel on a seven-day tasteful holiday experience in the Mediterranean, visiting Savona, La Spezia, Naples, Valencia, Barcelona and Marseille.

The one-week itinerary of Costa Deliziosa from Trieste, dedicated to the rediscovery of the best of Italy, will be available also for European residents on September 27 and October 4. Starting from October 10, Costa Deliziosa will sail on one-week cruises from Trieste to Greece.

Costa's offer in the Mediterranean will be further enriched by the flagship Costa Smeralda, the first Costa ship fueled by liquefied natural gas (LNG), planned to depart on October 10 from Savona for itineraries in the West Mediterranean. Starting from November, Costa Diadema will offer two wonderful travels: a 12-day itinerary to the Canary Islands and a 14-day itinerary to discover Egypt and Greece. The World Cruise is also confirmed with Costa Deliziosa, departing on January 3, 2021, for its 13th edition.

Apart from the itineraries included in this announcement, all the other cruises scheduled from October 2020 to March 2021 are canceled. Costa is informing the impacted guests and travel agents. They will be guaranteed a reprotection in accordance with the applicable legislation. Costa Favolosa cruises in the Caribbean are also excluded from cancellations; the company will give information about these cruises as soon as possible.

With the aim to provide the latest health safety procedures for guests, crew and local communities, the Costa Safety Protocol will be implemented on 2020-21 winter season cruises. The Costa Safety protocol is a comprehensive set of procedures in response to the COVID-19 situation, relating to all aspects of the cruise experience, both on board and ashore. The protocol measures include antigen swab tests for all guests before embarkation and protected shore excursions. Supported by a panel of independent scientific experts in public health, the Costa Safety Protocol is consistent with the health protocols defined by the Italian government and European authorities, and goes even beyond. The protocol will be constantly updated based on the evolution of the scenario and medical knowledge.

In September Costa Deliziosa first three departures (September 6, 13, 20) and Costa Diadema first departure (September 19) are reserved for guests residing in Italy. Starting from September 27, 2020, cruises will be on sale also for residents in the European countries included in Annex 20 of the Italian Prime Minister's Decree of September 7, List A and List B, namely: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Hungary, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Should new Government Decrees or provisions on the subject be issued, Costa will immediately adapt its regulations and inform its customers.

Seabourn Announces 2022 World Cruise
Seabourn announced this week that it is offering an unforgettable journey around the globe with its "2022 World Cruise: Extraordinary Horizons," a 145-day voyage on Seabourn Sojourn, visiting 72 extraordinary destinations and ports in 28 countries on five continents.

Seabourn Sojourn will depart Los Angeles on January 11, 2022, and travel westbound, visiting Hawaii, the islands of the South Pacific, New Zealand, Australia, a number of destinations in Asia, Arabia, Africa, before ending in Athens, Greece, on June 6, 2022. Among the notable highlights is Seabourn's return to Egypt since 2014, with an overnight visit scheduled for Safaga (Luxor), as well as a stop at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. The 2022 World Cruise is now open for sale, and the entire itinerary is available on Seabourn's website.

"Our 2022 World Cruise promises to be an extraordinary journey across the world, whether guests take the full world cruise or join us on one of the many segments, they will visit many of the world's most prized destinations and immerse themselves in diverse cultures," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "With so many of us limited on travel this year, booking a Seabourn world cruise for 2022 offers a much-needed extraordinary experience to look forward to and chance to explore the world around us."

Seabourn Sojourn will call at 72 ports and destinations in 28 countries throughout the course of the sailing, featuring a combination of visits to popular marquee ports, cosmopolitan cities and smaller hidden gems. The voyage will include 20 overnights and linger late into the evening in 21 ports, offering guests ample opportunities to explore these fascinating destinations in depth.

There will be three exclusive world cruise events planned for guests booked on the full 145-day voyage, as well as local shows, regional cuisines, and palate-pleasing wines for all guests to enjoy as they sail around the globe. In addition, the World Cruise will include two of the line's most popular signature events available to all guests on a complimentary basis: Caviar in the Surf beach barbecue at Ko Kood, Thailand; and "Evening at Ephesus" at Kusadasi, Turkey, featuring a private classical concert in the ancient ruins under the stars.

A sampling of destination highlights includes:

• Sydney, The Great Barrier Reef and Queensland Coast - Try "sand-tobogganing" on the world's tallest dune, and marvel at the blue-white beauty of the breathtaking Whitsunday Islands. Two days in Cairns highlight the ship's exploration of Queensland's coast with awe-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Great Barrier Reef and the primeval rain forests of Daintree National Park. Darwin in the Northern Territory provides two days of WWII history, jumping saltwater crocodiles and timeless Aboriginal culture.

• Marvels of Japan, Korea and China - Discover the sun-swept islands of "Japan's Caribbean" - Amami-ringed with coral reefs and Okinawa's ancient Shureimon Gate, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take in Kagoshima's picturesque skyline, dominated by snowcapped Sakurajima volcano, and contemplate Hiroshima's poignant Memorial Peace Park. Overnight stays in bustling Busan, South Korea, and Nagasaki, Japan, provide a memorable crescendo to three full days in China's luminous Yangtze River showplace – Shanghai.

• Southeast Asian Treasures - Zhujiajian's bridges preserve a medieval Chinese character now hidden in enclaves among Hong Kong's towering skyscrapers. An overnight stay in Vietnam's Halong Bay invites guests to absorb its ethereal beauty at every hour. Seabourn Sojourn sails right up the Saigon River to the heart of fascinating Ho Chi Minh City. Ko Kood's unspoiled, white sand beach is the ideal setting for the line's extravagant Caviar in the Surf beach barbecue, with complimentary watersports.

• Egypt, Petra and the Suez Canal - The two-day visit at Safaga provides guests with ample time to explore Luxor's immense sculptural colonnades and avenues, tour the temples of Luxor and Karnak with its vast Hypostyle Hall of carved lotus columns, and much more. Later, from Aqaba, discover the long-lost Nabatean city of Petra carved into the walls of a natural canyon fortress.

• The Holy Land and Aegean Empires - Few places integrate antiquities with a modern, cosmopolitan outlook better than Israel. The two-day stay at Haifa is filled with UNESCO World Heritage landmarks of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Judea and Galilee, as well as the Bauhaus White City, colorful markets and seaside promenades of Tel Aviv. Complete your epic Seabourn Sojourn voyage tracing the roots of European history from Minoan Bronze-age Crete to the marble streets of Ephesus and onward to the sophisticated symmetry of the Parthenon standing high atop modern Athens.

The line is planning an array of optional shore excursions in more than 25 ports with designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites thanks to its unique partnership with UNESCO. The world cruise will also feature a number of optional, mid-voyage overland excursions where guests will disembark at one port and rejoin the ship at another port, providing them with a more in-depth experience at certain destinations and sites such as the Luxor & the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, outback adventures in Australia, the magnificent Taj Mahal in India, UNESCO World Heritage sites in China and Cambodia, and more. Also available are optional Seabourn Journeys, offering guests an immersive longer pre- and post-cruise land-based excursion to and from select destinations such as Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney.

Carnival Corporation Appoints Peter Hutchison as SVP, Deputy Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer
Carnival Corporation today announced the appointment of Peter Hutchison as senior vice president, deputy chief ethics and compliance officer, effective Sept. 25, 2020. Hutchison will report directly to Peter C. Anderson, chief ethics and compliance officer.

Serving for the past three years as vice president, governance, at Carnival UK, Hutchison will play an integral role in supporting the overall implementation of the ethics and compliance program with primary responsibility for overseeing and further improving the investigative function for incidents involving health, environment, safety and security (HESS).

Drawing upon his broad experience, as the new deputy chief Hutchison will also oversee compliance risk activities, facilitate open communications across the company's cruise line brands, monitor local program implementation, advocate for appropriate systems and processes to improve program oversight, and will spearhead important program initiatives.

More specifically, as the new leader of Carnival Corporation's incident analysis group, Hutchison will be responsible for all efforts to investigate certain Health, Environmental, Safety and Security issues – including near misses. He will also manage the team of investigators, and assist in improving the investigative functions throughout the entire organization.

"Peter Hutchison has a rare combination of skills and experience that will enable us to further strengthen our investigations function," said Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation. "Not only will he help us get better at identifying the root causes of incidents, Peter will also help ensure that the lessons learned will be shared broadly throughout our organization."

Anderson added, "This is yet another step in our continuing effort to build a world-class compliance program. We are thrilled to have Peter join our team."

Hutchison began his career as a deck cadet in 1996 with P&O Cruises, serving at sea for 14 years, including positions at Princess Cruises, P&O Australia and Cunard. Since 2010, Hutchison has served within various shore-side management positions in the areas of HESS compliance, including positions supporting the company's policy development, internal audits and investigations. He previously served as manager, investigations, at Holland America Line and director of marine investigations for Carnival Corporation. From 2013 to 2017, Hutchison worked at a maritime law firm and a ship management company, both based in London.

Since returning to Carnival UK in 2017, Hutchison has held the position of vice president, governance, at Carnival UK, leading the International Safety Management code (ISM) and HESS teams.

Hutchison is a master mariner and holds a diploma in nautical science from Glasgow College of Nautical Studies in Scotland and has attended the Applied Marine Accident Investigation course at Cranfield University, England.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 17.85 - 3.67%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 70.94 - 1.40%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.30 - 6.25%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 16.97 * 7.87%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the two 14,000 ton sister ships that entered service for Cunard in 1971 & 1972 and were replaced in 1976 & 1977.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Name the two 14,000 ton sister ships that entered service for Cunard in 1971 & 1972 and were replaced in 1976 & 1977.

Answer - the Cunard sisters of 14,000 tonnes were the "Cunard Ambassador" which became a converted livestock transporter as "Procyon" and eventually was broken up in 1984 and the "Cunard Adventurer" which was sold to Kloster in 1977 for NCL as "Sunward II" then she was onto Epirotiki as the "Triton" in 1992.
courtesy of Jeff Ross


Cruise News - September 7, 2020

Costa Cruises To Restart Cruise Operations This Week
Two cruise line brands from Carnival Corporation have announced plans to resume sailing operations, with Italy-based Costa Cruises scheduled to restart sailing in Italy this Sunday, Sept. 6, followed by Germany-based AIDA Cruises scheduled to resume on Nov. 1.

The brands will begin in a gradual, phased-in manner with six initial ships and limited itineraries, becoming the first two of the company's nine global cruise line brands to resume operations. The initial cruises will take place with adjusted passenger capacity and enhanced health protocols developed with government and health authorities to follow shoreside mitigation guidelines.

Costa Cruises is restarting sailing with two initial ships departing from Italian ports beginning Sept. 6. Costa Deliziosa will offer weekly cruises from Trieste on Sept. 6, 13, 20 and 27, visiting five destinations in southern Italy, including Bari and Brindisi in Puglia, Corigliano-Rossano in Calabria, and Siracusa and Catania in Sicily. Costa Diadema will follow on Sept. 19 from Genoa, calling at Italian ports in the western Mediterranean, including Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, Palermo, Cagliari and La Spezia. The one-week itineraries are being reserved exclusively for Italian guests.

AIDA Cruises will resume its cruise operations with two of its ships, sailing from the Canary Islands in November 2020, followed by an additional two ships departing from the western Mediterranean and United Arab Emirates beginning in December 2020. The first of the brand's cruises is set to begin Nov. 1, with seven-day voyages to and departures from Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, with AIDAmar, followed by sailings from Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife with AIDAperla on Nov. 7. In December, AIDA Cruises will resume sailing operations in the Western Mediterranean with AIDAstella departing on seven-day cruises from Palma, Mallorca, beginning Dec. 12. Additionally, AIDAprima will offer seven-day cruises from Dubai starting Dec. 11 and from Abu Dhabi beginning Dec. 15.

In working with global and national health authorities and medical experts, Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises have developed a comprehensive set of health and hygiene protocols to help facilitate a safe, healthy return to cruise vacations. Both brands are providing guests with detailed information about enhanced restart protocols, which will continue to be modeled after shoreside health and mitigation guidelines as defined by each brand's respective county, and approved by the flag state, Italy. Protocols will be updated based on evolving scientific and medical knowledge related to mitigation strategies.

Costa Cruises has developed the Costa Safety Protocol for its fleet, including new operating procedures supported by independent scientific experts in public health and consistent with the health protocols defined by the Italian Government and European authorities. The comprehensive set of measures and procedures cover key areas such as crew health and safety, the booking process, guest activities, entertainment and dining, and medical care on board, as well as pre-boarding, embarking and disembarking operations, which will include testing for all guests prior to embarkation. Additional information on the Costa Safety Protocol is available here.

"Our highest responsibilities and top priorities are always compliance, protecting the environment, and the health, safety and well-being of our guests, the communities we visit and our crew," said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. "We are engaged with a large number of medical experts and scientists around the world, and they are providing us with extremely valuable insight that we are using to develop new and enhanced protocols that are in the best interest of our guests, crew and overall public health. In areas of the world where community spread is largely mitigated and authorities are supportive of a gradual return to service over time, we look forward to again welcoming guests on board."

More broadly, as the understanding of COVID-19 continues to evolve, Carnival Corporation has been working with a number of world-leading public health, epidemiological and policy experts to support its ongoing efforts for developing enhanced protocols and procedures for the return of cruise vacations. Among the experts are:

• Dr. Simon Clarke, associate professor in cellular microbiology, University of Reading School of Biological Sciences (UK)

• Michael S. Diamond, MD, PhD, Herbert S. Gasser professor of medicine, molecular microbiology, pathology & immunology; and associate director, Center for Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Programs, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

• Michael Z. Lin, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurobiology, bioengineering, and chemical and systems biology; and principal investigator, The Lin Lab, Stanford University School of Medicine

• Dr. Jewel Mullen, MD, MPH, associate dean for health equity, University of Texas at Austin, Dell Medical School

• Emil C. Reisinger, MD, full professor of internal medicine, infectious diseases and tropical medicine and director of the Division of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Rostock, Germany

• Dr. Stefano Vella, MD, former director, National Center for Global Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Italian National Institute of Health); and adjunct professor of global health, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart) in Rome

These advisors and others have been working with the company and its brands to review existing and enhanced procedures and provide supplemental advice based on the latest scientific evidence and best practices for protection and mitigation.

Technology At The Telm Of Royal Caribbean Group’s Healthy Return To Sailing
Royal Caribbean Group is driven by a mantra of “continuous improvement,” committed to developing new experiences and solutions that make for memorable vacations. The Group’s innovative spirit and passion, spanning five decades, has led to the industry’s most ambitious and unexpected engineering feats. From an ice rink for open skating in the Caribbean and one-of-a-kind experiences that blur the line between technology and entertainment, to the fastest internet at sea, creative solutions are more important now than ever.

As travelers and travel professionals continue adapting to the world around them, Royal Caribbean Group is dedicated to further evolving cruises into safer and healthier vacations. At the forefront of this will be the Group’s existing digital innovations designed to eliminate what has typically been considered primary pain points of travel - lines, crowds and paper.

Just this year, the Group released a reimagined safety drill that was in development for more than a year. The new approach, Muster 2.0, encourages higher levels of safety and health by reframing a process originally designed for large groups into a faster, more personal approach.

At the core of Muster 2.0 is the cruise company’s digitally advanced, guest-empowering mobile app, first introduced in 2017 and now available on many Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara ships. Initially developed for guests to make the most of their vacation, the app’s capabilities make it a powerful solution that can integrate today’s new crucial health and safety practices, such as physical distancing and minimizing common touchpoints.

A number of features and capabilities currently within the app – released in different combinations across the cruise company’s 63-ship fleet – are being built on for current times.

Primary mobile app functionalities include:

Just announced: Muster 2.0 – one of the least-loved, but most important, parts of a cruise vacation – the safety drill – is transformed from a process designed for large groups of people into a faster, more personal “one-to-few” approach that guests can complete at their own time.

Scheduled arrival time – staggered arrival times for guests help eliminate crowds by managing the ebb-and-flow in parking lots, drop-off areas and terminals to allow for physical distancing from car to stateroom.

Expedited boarding – by completing check-in with the app, scanning passport information and uploading a ‘selfie’ security photo, guests can generate a mobile boarding pass and qualify for an expedited boarding process. Debuted in 2018, the innovative, digital experience minimizes check-in and security lines at ports, allowing guests to get on board seamlessly and safely in minutes.

Digital key – guests can unlock staterooms with their smartphones by downloading a digital key, available in just a few taps for select ships and staterooms.

Stateroom automation – using their smartphone, guests have the ability to control elements inside their stateroom, such as the TV, lighting, window shades and temperature, limiting touchpoints while achieving higher levels of stateroom customization.

Onboard account – guests can view onboard charges and credits in real time from anywhere on the ship without waiting in line or on hold.

Daily planning – onboard activities, entertainment shows, dining and shore excursions are viewable and open for reservations all through the guest mobile app.

As Royal Caribbean Group continues to evolve the cruise vacation, additional advancements will be released, some of which will make the greatest impact from behind the scenes. These innovations will further demonstrate the Group’s commitment to exceeding guests’ expectations as well as their standards for health and safety on a cruise.

Cunard Announces Classic World Voyage On Queen Mary 2 For 2022
Cunard's announced details for the 2022 classic World Voyage on Queen Mary 2.

The iconic ocean liner will make calls to Greece, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Australia and Bali, Abu Dhabi, Oman, Italy and Portugal. Sailings through the Suez Canal feature on both the outbound journey and return.

Cunard president, Simon Palethorpe, said, "Our guests have told us they want memorable destinations which combine intrinsic glamour and heritage. This unique program spans 16 countries, offering a combined 33 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which we hope will combine the perfect blend of exploration on shore and relaxation on board."

The 118 night voyage sets sail from New York on January 3, 2022 and returns on May 1, 2022.

It will include overnight stops in Haifa, Dubai, Hong Kong, Sydney and Singapore, plus a late night departure from Colombo.

Palethorpe continued, "This 118 night roundtrip New York voyage can be split into six segments and booked individually, which is tailored to those who want to fully immerse themselves in the Cunard experience for just a portion of the journey. It truly is the ultimate exploration of east meets west experienced from the magnificent setting of the world's only ocean liner, the Queen Mary 2.

"Guests on board will be able to take advantage of a multitude of luxurious offerings whether they want to be entertained, learn something new, get active or simply relax, while the ambience throughout the ship is warm, friendly and inclusive."

Those sailing the full World Voyage will enjoy a welcome on board reception, services of a World Voyage Concierge and use of a private lounge, a gala event ashore and complimentary daily gratuities.

CLIA Releases 2020 Environmental Technologies and Practices Report
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the leading voice of the global cruise industry, released today the Global Cruise Industry Environmental Technologies and Practices Report produced by Oxford Economics. The report highlights the progress that CLIA oceangoing cruise line members continue to make towards the development and implementation of advanced technologies and practices to achieve lower emissions, greater efficiencies, and a cleaner environment onboard, at sea and in port.

While cruise ships comprise far less than 1 percent of the global maritime community, the latest report substantiates how cruise lines have taken a leadership role in the adoption of maritime technologies that benefit the entire shipping industry. To date, the cruise industry has invested over $23.5 billion in ships with new technologies and cleaner fuels to reduce air emissions and achieve greater efficiency. This is a $1.5 billion USD increase over the 2019 report findings.

"Even as we have worked to address and overcome the impacts of COVID-19, the cruise industry remains committed to a cleaner, more sustainable future. With over $23 billion invested in ships with new technologies and cleaner fuels, such as exhaust gas cleaning systems and liquified natural gas, I can only imagine what we will accomplish together in the next ten years and beyond," said Kelly Craighead, president and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). "This report affirms our commitment to environmental sustainability and I commend our members for their continued leadership and demonstration of the highest standards of responsible tourism." vCLIA cruise lines were the first to publicly commit as a maritime sector, to reduce the rate of carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 2008. As noted in the report, CLIA oceangoing cruise line members continue to work diligently to achieve ambitious goals like this and meet rising expectations. Substantial progress has been achieved in the following areas:

• LNG Fuel* – The 2020 report found 49% of new build capacity will rely on LNG fuel for primary propulsion, a 51% increase in overall capacity compared to 2018.

• Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS)* - More than 69% of global capacity utilizes EGCS to meet or exceed air emissions requirements, representing an increase in capacity of 25% compared to 2018. Additionally, 96% of non-LNG new builds will have EGCS installed, an increase in capacity of 21% compared to 2019.

• Advanced Wastewater Treatment Systems - 99% of new ships on order are specified to have advanced wastewater treatment systems (bringing global capacity to 78.5%) and currently 70% of the CLIA oceangoing cruise line fleet capacity is served by advanced wastewater treatment systems (an increase of 5% over 2019).

• Shore-side Power Capability - In port, cruise ships are increasingly equipped with the technology to allow delivery of shoreside electricity, thus allowing engines to be switched off, and there are many collaborations with ports and governments to increase the availability.

• 75% of the new build capacity is either committed to be fitted with shore-side electricity systems or will be configured to add shore-side power in the future.

• 32% of global capacity (up 13% since 2019) are fitted to operate on shore-side electricity in the 14 ports worldwide where that capability is provided in at least one berth in the port.

The progress across these multiple areas demonstrate CLIA's view that it is integral, urgent, and feasible to balance fostering growth with policy and technology changes that help preserve the air and oceans in which the industry operates.

"The cruise industry works every day to advance its responsible tourism efforts and recognizes that continued and greater investment in research is critical to identifying and producing new fuels and propulsion systems," said Adam Goldstein, Chairman of CLIA Global. "This is why CLIA along with other maritime sector partners have proposed to establish and fund a $5B Research and Development Board dedicated to working collaboratively across the sector to identify the technologies and energy sources that will provide additional opportunities to lessen our environmental footprint and meet the ambitious goals set by the IMO."

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 18.53 + 12.44%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 71.95 + 4.52%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.32 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 18.42 + 7.66%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the two 14,000 ton sister ships that entered service for Cunard in 1971 & 1972 and were replaced in 1976 & 1977.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
The ship was the Achille Lauro, formerly the Dutch colonial liner Willem Ruys.

Answer - It was the Turbinia built in 1894. In 1897 the ship made a dramatic unannounced appearance on the Spithead Navy Review.
courtesy of RonR3 at comcast.net


Cruise News - August 31, 2020

AIDA Cruises Will Resume Cruise Operations with Fall and Winter Voyages
AIDA Cruises today announced that it will offer cruises this fall and winter that combine the fascination of a cruise trip with an unforgettable holiday experience to several popular destinations.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the conditions are currently not in place in Germany's neighbouring European countries, especially in the north with Norway and Denmark or the Baltic states. For many distant destinations outside of Europe, the Federal Republic of Germany has issued a travel warning or the respective countries have prohibited calls of cruise ships until 2021. As a result, the company has cancelled its previously announced cruises for September and has updated its fall and winter 2020-2021 program to provide its guests and sales partners additional time to plan and book vacations for a safe and enjoyable return to cruise holidays.

As the first ship from the AIDA fleet to begin sailing, AIDAmar will set course on Nov. 1, 2020, for seven-day voyages to the Canary Islands, a popular destination with German vacationers.

AIDAperla will follow on Nov. 7, 2020, and will take over the travel program originally planned for AIDAnova. AIDAmar's voyages will start and end in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. For voyages with AIDAperla, in addition to Las Palmas, AIDA Cruises will offer a second departure port with Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

In the Western Mediterranean, AIDA Cruises will resume sailing operations with AIDAstella on Dec. 12, 2020, where the ship will cast off from Palma, Mallorca, on seven-day cruises to some of the most beautiful cities in the Western Mediterranean.

The treasures of the Orient take center stage during the seven-day AIDAprima cruises that will be offered starting Dec. 11, 2020, from Dubai (United Arab Emirates) and from Dec. 15, 2020, from Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates).

"Even though it is currently not possible for cruise ships to call at Norway, which is so important for our voyages to the north, we are confident that the first AIDA ships from Germany will be able to travel to Northern Europe again at the beginning of 2021," says Felix Eichhorn, president of AIDA Cruises.

AIDA Cruises is in close contact with the responsible authorities and airlines in order to prepare for the restart of its voyages in November and December.

Supported by the theme "With certainty the most beautiful vacation," the company provides information about the enhanced protection measures against COVID-19 at www.aida.de/sichererurlaub.

All AIDA cruises take place in compliance with the requirements of the respective international and national health authorities as well as the enhanced health and hygiene standards of AIDA Cruises. The renowned independent testing company SGS Institut Fresenius and the classification society DNV-GL have reviewed and confirmed the enhanced health and hygiene standards and the processes of preventive measures that AIDA Cruises will implement for the restart of cruise operations.

Silversea's Silver Moon Undergoes Sea Trials
Silversea's new ship Silver Moon is one step closer to welcoming the cruise line's guests, having successfully carried out her sea trials between August 8th and August 20th. Carrying a reduced crew of approximately 320 due to precautionary health protocols, the ship journeyed between Fincantieri's shipyards in Ancona and Trieste, Italy, undergoing a week-long dry-dock period in the latter. With a delivery date set for October 30th, Silver Moon will become the second ship to join Silversea's ultra-luxury fleet in 2020, following the delivery of Silver Origin on June 3.

Silversea's senior officers, external engineers, and representatives from both Fincantieri and the Royal Caribbean Group put Silver Moon through a series of preliminary tests in the Adriatic Sea - including noise, and vibration tests - for three days from August 8th. Once Silver Moon was out of the water in Trieste, stability tests were performed; public spaces were inspected; and engineers applied the finishing touches to the ship's exterior, including the cleaning and painting of the hull, and the polishing of the ship's brass propellers. Secondary tests, including speed tests, were then carried out on the return sailing from Trieste to Ancona. Work has now recommenced on the ship's interior, ahead of the vessel's official delivery in October.

The sister ship of Silversea's Silver Muse, Silver Moon represents the latest accomplishment in the cruise line's long-standing partnership with the illustrious shipbuilder Fincantieri. During the peak months of Silver Moon's construction in Ancona, over 1,000 skilled professionals were working on the ship simultaneously, with over 390 companies contributing to the build. Painted using almost 100,000L of paint, over 15,000 steel plates and profiles were cut to form the ship's superstructure – 920t of which were transported from 755nm away. Approximately 1,690,000m of electric cable were installed by 18 contractors, as well as 60,000m2 of insulation, 450,000kg of air conditioning ducts, and 92,000kg of ventilation ducts. Moreover, over 5,000 automation channels have been installed to link the ship's mechanisms.

vWith over 20 years of experience at Silversea Cruises alone, Captain Alessandro Zanello was at the helm for the launch of Silver Moon's sister ship, Silver Muse, back in 2017, and was also present for the sea trials of Silver Spirit in 2009.

"As my third with Silversea, I must say that Silver Moon's sea trials felt a little surreal after everything that happened in the months prior," says Zanello. "I was originally scheduled to travel to the shipyard in Ancona in April. I was with family in Canada at the time. Unfortunately there were no flights from Canada to Ancona, so I was unable to reach the ship until July. The sea trials themselves felt special, indeed, and were held in unique circumstances. Enhanced health and safety protocols were in place, including temperature screenings, physical distancing, and the wearing of face coverings both on the ship and in the shipyard. Meal hours were extended and we ate with fewer people in the restaurant. During the sea trials themselves, we had far fewer people on board than for those of Silver Muse. Safety was the primary concern. Nevertheless, we managed to carry out all test successfully. I must admit, sea trials can often be stressful, with too many people on the bridge; it was quite pleasant to have a more tranquil environment. Perhaps we will be forced to review our processes going forwards – this could be a positive thing. At the end of the sea trials, we shared a celebratory glass of prosecco with the team from Fincantieri. The ship is coming on nicely and she really is looking spectacular. This is a momentous occasion for all of us; we have worked very hard to reach this point. One of the most special moments for me was going into the dock to see the ship's hull, before and after the painting. A small tradition of mine: I like to take a photo in front of the bulbous bow, when a fresh coat of paint glistens on the hull."

Promoted to the position of Chief Engineer aboard Silver Spirit in 2017, Guido Capurro participated in his first sea trials with Silversea aboard Silver Moon. Not only is Capurro responsible for the operation of the ship's main and auxiliary engines, but he also directs the onboard technical department, with responsibilities that include air conditioning, plumbing, lifeboat engines, and launching apparatus.

"While all essential technicians from Silversea and Fincantieri were able to attend the sea trials, some external engineers were unable to fly and so could not be present. Approximately half the number of people were on board compared to regular sea trials. Nevertheless, we were able to carry out all tests successfully. These were my first sea trials with Silversea and it is always spectacular to see the ship at its peak performance, and to see how the automation and safety devices react to the sudden change in demand. Everything went really well and the ship's responses exceeded expectations. I was thrilled to see the ship's propellers out of the water once again, as they were polished during the dry-docking period in Trieste. The better they are polished, the better the ship's performance. The hull was painted with a special antifouling with a very low roughness, which is an important task in optimizing the performance of the ship."

The son of a Captain, Hotel Director Paolo Percivale proudly participated in the launch of both Silver Spirit in 2009 and Silver Muse in 2017, before bringing his expertise aboard Silver Moon. As Hotel Director, he will oversee the entire hotel operation on board, managing a team of over 350 crewmembers to deliver exceptional service to Silversea's guests.

"Just 10 days after we joined the shipyard at the beginning of March, the lockdown was implemented and everything came to a halt. We lived through the lockdown in Ancona. Guido and I, along with several other members of the team, were working from apartments in the city until the end of April, which was very difficult. After a spell back home once the lockdown ended, I returned to the shipyard on July 1st. It's great to finally see Silver Moon nearing completion and to experience the various enhancements we have made from Silver Muse. In the Dolce Vita Lounge, for example, a beautiful bar has been installed as the space's focal point, while La Dame Restaurant has been enriched with hand-crafted Lalique crystal panels. All public areas and suites are looking remarkable – I just can't wait to welcome our guests on board, enjoying these new atmospheric venues. I am especially excited to see the reactions of our guests to our inspiring new S.A.L.T. programme, and our new S.A.L.T. venues, which is sure to be more than positive. She is a beautiful vessel, indeed."

"Silver Moon successfully passed her sea trials and we are now nearing the ship's delivery," says Giovanni Stecconi, Director of Fincantieri's Ancona shipyard. "We look forward to celebrating that momentous occasion together with Silversea, a cruise line whose growth we have contributed to with pride and determination, thanks to ambitious projects such as the 'Muse' class, of which Silver Moon is a part."

"Silver Moon will be an innovative addition to our expanding fleet of ultra-luxury ships," says Roberto Martinoli, Silversea's President and CEO. "Building on the success of our beloved flagship Silver Muse, Silver Moon will push boundaries in travel to unlock meaningful experiences for our guests around the world. Our pioneering new S.A.L.T. programme is just one way in which travellers will delve deep into destinations, and I look forward to personally welcoming our guests aboard Silver Moon in the near future. I extend my gratitude to the entire team at Fincantieri, who have demonstrates their skill and know-how; Captain Zanello and his officers, who have worked tirelessly; Silversea's committed shoreside team for their enduring professionalism; and our colleagues at the Royal Caribbean Group, who continue to strengthen our cruise line with their invaluable support. The fact that our beautiful Silver Moon nears completion, despite such challenging circumstances, is a testament to the exceptional resilience and expertise of all involved in her build. For this I am very proud."

Seabourn Announces Additional Voyage Cancellations For Three Ships
Seabourn announced today that it will cancel additional voyages for three cruise ships in its fleet as a part of its pause in global ship operations.

The announcement applies to Seabourn Ovation, Seabourn Encore, and Seabourn Quest with each ship having a different "effective through" date. Specific details are as follows:

• Seabourn Ovation: with its operations pause effective through January 3, 2021

• Seabourn Encore: with its operations pause effective through January 6, 2021

• Seabourn Quest: with its operations pause effective through May 10, 2021.

Seabourn is also announcing a revised delivery date for its new ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ship, Seabourn Venture, which is now scheduled for December 1, 2021. The delay is because of shipyard closures at T. Mariotti earlier this year as part of responses to COVID-19, which resulted in disruptions to the overall construction and finishing process for the ship.

The brand announced that Seabourn Quest will operate the line's 2021-2022 award-winning Antarctica experience. Seabourn Venture will debut in December 2021 with a series of first-ever "Norwegian Winter" voyages where they may be able to see the Northern Lights. Guests will be able to place a future cruise deposit on the new Northern Lights itineraries.

Details about the revised inaugural season for Seabourn Venture are currently being finalized and will be announced in October. The brand has opened a wait list for guests interested in the voyages from December 2021 to April 2022. Guests currently booked on the inaugural voyage for Seabourn Venture will be offered the opportunity to sail on the new inaugural itinerary on a priority basis before it is open for sale to the general public. Additional details on rebooking for other affected Seabourn Venture voyages will be shared with booked guests and travel advisors in mid-October.

Due to the redeployment of Seabourn Quest to Antarctica, the line is cancelling Seabourn Quest's Panama Canal voyages scheduled for November 7 - December 19, 2021.

Seabourn is continuing to assess the timing to resume operations on Seabourn Odyssey in the Caribbean. As a courtesy to guests booked on December sailings aboard Seabourn Odyssey, final payment will now be due 60 days prior to departure.

Seabourn had previously announced a pause in its global ship operations from March 14 through May 2021, depending on the ship, effectively cancelling all voyages for those ships scheduled to operate during that timeframe. The decision to cancel additional voyages is a proactive action to deal with the circumstances continuing to evolve from the global response to the COVID-19 situation.

"Our utmost priority is the health, safety and well-being of our guests, crew and the people in destinations. We recognize the long lead time for planning an ultra-luxury Seabourn experience and with that in mind, we proactively announce the cancellation of these additional voyages," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "We are working very closely with science and medical advisors as well as our source and destination markets to develop protocols for the ultimate return to operations."

Seabourn will be communicating changes for voyages scheduled to depart in the extension timeframe with all booked guests and their travel advisors.

Guests who are currently confirmed on one of the affected voyages on Seabourn Quest's Antarctica, Amazon, Panama Canal, South America and Transatlantic cruises scheduled between November 7, 2020 and April 25, 2021, will automatically be re-accommodated in the same suite on the same voyage during Seabourn Quest's 2021-2022 season, at rate paid, within 30 days, as well as receive a shipboard credit that is calculated based upon voyage length. The shipboard credit is $300 per suite for voyages up to 20 days in length and $500 per suite for voyages of 21 days or more.

Guests booked on impacted cruises on Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation will automatically be cancelled and all guests will receive Future Cruise Credits. They can also request a full refund of monies paid to Seabourn. Specific details are as follows:

• Paid in Full: those guests paid in full will receive 125% Future Cruise Credit of the base cruise fare paid to Seabourn. Guests can also request a full refund of the monies paid to Seabourn.

• Deposited bookings: those guests with deposited bookings will receive a Future Cruise Credit valued at 125% of the deposit amount paid, up to the base cruise fare paid to Seabourn. Guests can also request a full refund of the monies paid to Seabourn.

The Future Cruise Credit is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and may be used to book sailings departing through Dec. 31, 2022. The amount of non-cruise fare purchases may be transferred to a new booking. Alternatively, guests may request a refund of the monies paid to Seabourn, which will be reimbursed to the original form of payment.

Carnival, Princess and P&O Cruises Announce Extension of Pause of Operations in Australia
Carnival Cruise Line said today that in light of continuing Australian travel restrictions, it is extending its pause in departures from Australia through 2 December 2020 for Carnival Spirit and Carnival Splendor.

Carnival had previously announced pauses through 29 October and is now notifying guests and travel agents about these new cancellations.

Carnival will resume cruising when the time is right and will do so with enhanced health measures developed in conjunction with government authorities, public health experts, local ports of call and the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

Princess Cruises is extending its pause in cruise operations in Australia through December 12, 2020 which includes cruises throughout Australia and New Zealand.

P&O Cruises Australia is extending its rolling pause in operations from Australia to 2 December this year as the cruise line continues to take guidance from authorities, public health experts and society on restarting sailing.

Atlas Ocean Voyages Appoints Six Sales Directors
Atlas Ocean Voyages today announced the appointment of six additional Sales Directors. Cathy Kusuma has been named Regional Sales Director, Eastern U.S.; Rolf Logan, Regional Sales Director for Central U.S.; Anthony Cooper, Regional Sales Director for Western U.S.; and Eric Bacon, Regional Sales Director for Canada. Furthermore, Alyssa Logan has assumed the role of Director of Charter and Incentive Sales; Lisette Martinez Rusian as Director of Sales and Marketing Operations; and Michelle Rodriguez-Suarez as Virtual Sales Manager. The new appointments are in response to the great, positive interest from the travel advisor community and the increasing recognition of Atlas' distinctive luxe-adventure expeditions among travelers. The new Sales executives will report to Atlas Ocean Voyages' Vice President of Sales and Trade Partnerships Brandon Townsley and all are dedicated to supporting the travel selling community and fostering unshakable relationships with the company's valued travel advisors.

"We are very happy to welcome the new Sales executives to the Atlas Ocean Voyages Sales Team," said Brandon. "They bring to Atlas their immense expertise as well as their understanding of the market and the needs of hardworking travel advisors. Cathy, Rolf, Anthony, Eric, Alyssa, Lisette and Michelle will continue to build strong and mutually rewarding relationships between Atlas and luxury travel advisors throughout the U.S. and Canada. They will also promote Atlas' distinctive luxe-adventure expeditions and share how travel advisors can earn a $750 or $500 gift card immediately for each deposited booking through the GET PAID NOW incentive program."

Atlas Ocean Voyages remains committed to supporting Travel Advisors with GET PAID NOW. Travel Advisors immediately receive a $750 or $500 gift card for each deposited booking in a Suite or stateroom, respectively, plus earn 15 percent commission when their clients sail. For more information about Atlas Ocean Voyages' GET PAID NOW, Travel Advisors can visit www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com/partneroffers.

Atlas Ocean Voyages' President Alberto Aliberti said about the progress of the brand: "Ten years in planning, Atlas Ocean Voyages is the realized vision of Mystic Invest [Atlas Ocean Voyages' parent company] Chairman and Portuguese Entrepreneur Mário Ferreira. When we opened Atlas in late 2018 in the U.S., it was three of us table-hopping in cafés and conference rooms. We have now grown into a proud team of nearly 40 and are the only cruise company in 2020 to order new ships – not one, but four – to join World Navigator before 2023. This year has been unprecedented, to say the least, and it's important to thank our valued travel advisor partners and stakeholders, who believed in this new cruising concept and supported us every step of the way to help us reach this point. We look forward to bringing luxe-adventure journeys to the world and inaugurate the safe, clean and green World Navigator in July 2021."

The newly appointed Sales executives are all veteran industry executives, totaling more than 160 years of collective experience with cruise and travel companies such as American Express Travel, Azamara, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise Planners, Delta Airline Vacations, Delta Queen Steamboat Co., Holland America Line, Hurtigruten, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, PPI Group, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, Royal Caribbean International, Seabourn Cruise Line, and Travel Impressions.

Atlas Ocean Voyages is an all-inclusive, luxury cruise brand defined by simple elegance and will deliver authentic, thrilling, and once-in-a-lifetime adventures in the world's most extraordinary and remote destinations aboard the small expedition ship, World Navigator. World Navigator will sail seven- to 24-night itineraries in the Holy Land, Black and Mediterranean Seas in the summer 2021, followed by nine- to 13-night itineraries in the Caribbean, South America and Antarctica in winter 2021/22.

Experienced, fun-seeking and like-spirited travelers will find community aboard Atlas Ocean Voyages' all-inclusive luxury expedition ships and revel in welcoming and lively venues to share their day's exploits. Guests indulge in 98 luxe suites and staterooms, all with an ocean view and most with a private balcony. All Atlas Ocean Voyages journeys include complimentary round-trip air travel from select U.S. and Canada gateways; prepaid gratuities; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages; Wi-Fi; L'Occitane bath amenities; a free shore excursion in select ports on every itinerary; international gourmet dining; coffee and tea service; and onboard binoculars and butler service in suites.

Safety is at the core of Atlas Ocean Voyages' Polar Category-C and Ice Class-1B certified expedition ships, and all of the most-modern hygiene and cleanliness measures are being incorporated into their design. World Navigator's construction in Portugal is on schedule, and sister-ships World Traveller, World Seeker, World Adventurer and World Discoverer will join the fleet before the end 2023.

Atlas Ocean Voyages is also committed to preserving the breathtaking locales and waters that its ships visit for future generations to enjoy, and is among the first to employ the latest conservation and sustainability technologies, including a hybrid power management and propulsion system that maximizes fuel efficiency and consumes as low as one-fifth the fuel compared to conventional cruise ship systems. Additionally, World Navigator and her sister ships utilize underwater, forward-looking sonar to confidently navigate coastal, harbor and icy polar waters, and feature an alternate hydro jet propulsion system, which helps the ship quietly cruise up to five knots without disturbing marine wildlife for incomparable up-close encounters.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 16.48 + 2.11%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 68.84 + 6.84%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.32 - 7.25%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 17.00 + 2.21%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the name of the cruise ship that was was overtaken by terrorists in 1985? One passenger was killed in the incident. Also, what was her original name?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the name of the first steam turbine powered vessel and where did she make her debut?

Answer - It was the Turbinia built in 1894. In 1897 the ship made a dramatic unannounced appearance on the Spithead Navy Review.
courtesy of liberte50 at t-online.de


Cruise News - August 24, 2020

Cunard Extends Pause In Operations And Confirms Itinerary Changes For 2021
In an acknowledgement of the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) guidance and the complexity of operating world voyages, luxury cruise line Cunard will be extending its pause in operations from November 2020 until March 25, 2021 for its ship Queen Elizabeth; until April 18, 2021 for Queen Mary 2 and until May 16, 2021 for Queen Victoria.

Cunard president Simon Palethorpe said:

"We are so sorry to all those guests who were due to sail on any of the cancelled voyages and for the disappointment this news will cause. After very careful consideration and reviewing the latest guidance, we simply do not feel it would be sensible to start sailing again with our current schedule so we have reviewed future itineraries.

"Queen Elizabeth has returned to the UK and with ongoing uncertainty over the re-opening of many ports and countries, it is sadly not practical to continue her planned itineraries for 2021.

"Therefore, in addition to the pause in operations, all of Queen Elizabeth's sailings due to depart between March 26, 2021 and December 13, 2021, in and around Australia, Japan and Alaska, will be cancelled.

"These voyages will be replaced with a programme of shorter duration European holidays ranging from three to 14 nights, departing from Southampton. These will start at the end of March 2021, with a series of scenic voyages around the coast of Cornwall, the west coast of Ireland and the Scottish Isles. There will also be short breaks to Amsterdam which will include an overnight in the city, as well as voyages to northern and southern European destinations including Norway and the Iberian coast, with several of these itineraries featuring overnight city stays.

"Queen Elizabeth's new programme will be completed with a series of seven and 14 night voyages in the Mediterranean, sailing from Barcelona. It is an exciting new programme which I am sure will have great appeal."

All new itineraries on board Queen Elizabeth will be available to book from September 29, 2020.

Palethorpe continued "Additionally, recognising the immense disappointment of those on board Queen Mary 2's curtailed World Voyage this year, and the cancellation of her World Voyage in 2021, we are delighted that Queen Mary 2 will sail a classic World Voyage in 2022. This will replace her scheduled sailings departing January 3, 2022 to April 3, 2022, including the voyage to South America."

The new 118 night adventure will depart roundtrip from New York on January 3, 2022 and include calls to Greece, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Australia and Bali before returning to Southampton via Abu Dhabi, Oman, Italy and Portugal. The ship will sail through the Suez Canal both on the outbound journey and on return. It will be bookable, either as a full world voyage or as one of six sectors, from September 8, 2020.

"Given the current uncertainty, the complexity of our scheduled World Voyage with our international mix of guests visiting many countries and continents, each with its own evolving travel regulations was a very real factor in our decision making."

Cunard will be contacting guests and travel agents who are impacted and, once again, all guests who have had their voyage cancelled will automatically receive an enhanced 125% Future Cruise Credit or alternatively can fill in the website form for a 100% refund.

Costa Cruises Introduces COVID-19 Tests For All Guests On Board Its Ships
Costa Cruises continues to work for a responsible and safe start of its operations, scheduled for September, and becomes the first cruise company to earn the Biosafety Trust Certification from RINA, the over 150-year-old testing, inspection, certification and ship classification company that developed the innovative management system certification program.

The certification process, carried out through audits, examines all aspects of life on board and ashore – from the embarkation procedures to hotel services, catering, fitness, relaxation areas and shore excursions – and assesses the compliance of the system with the scheme procedures aimed at the prevention and control of infections.

To obtain certification from RINA, specific training modules for crews have been created in strict compliance with the new health protocols and with the associated shipboard management system implemented by Costa. These training programs reinforce the already strict procedures in place on board Costa's ships, in the embarkation terminals and during shore excursions, introduced with the Costa Safety Protocol, the new health protocol developed by Costa, with the scientific support of independent experts, in response to the COVID-19 situation.

Based on the actual epidemiological situation and considering the opinion of experts, from the first departure of the Costa Deliziosa, scheduled for September 6 from Trieste, and to follow on all ships that will return later into operations, the company will perform the antigenic Covid-19 swab tests to all embarking guests.

The test will be carried out within the wider pre-boarding procedures that have been defined according to the protocols of the health authorities and the Costa Safety Protocol. The quick antigenic test will identify any suspicious cases that may be subjected to a PCR test for further check, thus determining the possibility of embarkation. The company is also offering its guests the option to subscribe a dedicated insurance, with specific services in case of need.

The return of Costa cruises will be progressive and in the name of maximum safety for guests, crews and destination communities. For this reason, the company has chosen to offer itineraries only in Italy, reserved exclusively for Italian guests, for its September cruises. The first ship to sail on September 6 will be Costa Deliziosa, which will sail every Sunday until September 27 offering cruises from Trieste to visit Bari, Brindisi, Corigliano-Rossano, Siracusa and Catania. Costa Diadema will follow on September 19, 2020, with a seven-day cruise from Genoa in the Western Mediterranean, to visit Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, Palermo, Cagliari and La Spezia.

Princess Cruises Announces Early 2021 World Cruise Cancellations
Due to restrictions and limitations with border and port access determined by government and health authorities and the continued uncertainty of airline travel, Princess Cruises is cancelling its early 2021 World Cruises and Circle South America cruises on two ships:

• Island Princess 2021 World Cruise sailing from North America, including associated segments and remaining voyages sailing immediately prior

• Pacific Princess 2021 Circle South America sailing from Australia, including associated positioning cruises

"We share in the disappointment of this cancellation for guests of our world cruises because it's a pinnacle cruise vacation experience, booked by some of our most loyal guests," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president.

Guests currently booked on these cancelled voyages will receive a refundable Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 25% of the cruise fare paid. To receive the above FCCs, no action is required by the guest or their travel advisor.

Alternatively, guests can forfeit the bonus FCC offer and request a refund for all money paid on their booking by using this online form. Guests have until September 30, 2020 to elect a refund, or they will automatically receive the default offer listed above.

Princess will protect travel advisor commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full, in recognition of the critical role they play in the cruise line's business and success.

Carnival Cruise Line Announces Name Of Next Excel-class Ship
With the help of celebrity partners past and present, Carnival Cruise Line today announced that its next Excel-class ship arriving in 2022 to coincide with its 50th birthday celebration will be named "Carnival Celebration."

A full roster of Carnival partners, including Kathie Lee Gifford, Guy Fieri and Shaquille O'Neal, unwrapped boxes that revealed the letters of the Celebration name, which is both a throwback to one of the popular early ships in the Carnival fleet, as well as a recognition of Carnival's 50th birthday celebration that will take place in 2022 when the new Carnival Celebration will join the fleet. The video announcement was made across Carnival's social media channels and can be viewed here.

Carnival Celebration will debut from PortMiami in November 2022, and will be a sister ship to Mardi Gras, the first in the Excel series scheduled to enter service on Feb. 6, 2021 from Port Canaveral, Fla. The addition of Carnival Celebration to Miami will maintain PortMiami's position as the top embarkation port for Carnival Cruise Line.

"The name Carnival Celebration couldn't be more perfect for a ship that will be a key component of our 50th Birthday festivities," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "Many thanks to our celebrity partners who helped us officially 'unbox the fun' and reveal the name of a ship that promises to be a spectacular addition to our fleet. Carnival Celebration is our 50th Birthday present to our guests!"

Carnival Celebration will include many of the features that have made Mardi Gras one of the most anticipated ships in cruising, including BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, along with some unique design features created specifically for this vessel.

Carnival's 50th Birthday celebration kicks off in March 2022 – the company's birthday month – with a series of commemorative sailings that will feature special entertainment and itineraries then continue all year long, culminating with the arrival of Carnival Celebration to Miami in November 2022.

Proposed Class Action Case Against Royal Caribbean Dismissed
Plaintiffs in a proposed class action lawsuit brought against Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., as well as other defendants, voluntarily dismissed their amended complaint late last month. The amended complaint alleged that a class of Plaintiffs suffered monetary damages upon Royal Caribbean's COVID-19 related cancellation of a cruise scheduled to host a nursing conference in March of 2020.

Plaintiffs' dismissal came after Royal Caribbean filed a motion to dismiss the class action complaint, arguing primarily that the Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to a class action waiver located in Plaintiffs' cruise ticket contracts. Royal Caribbean also argued that the amended complaint should be dismissed because it offered refunds to all of the group passengers that requested one, and that at least one of the Plaintiffs actually accepted and deposited the full refund.

"We are pleased that the Plaintiffs saw the merit to the arguments we raised in our motion and chose to withdraw their claims," said David M. Levine, lead trial counsel and founding partner of Sanchez Fischer Levine, LLP, the Miami-based law firm representing Royal Caribbean in this matter. "Often times these matters linger far longer than they should, costing all parties substantial resources. We are happy that we were able to resolve this case relatively quickly for our client."

The matter was pending before Judge Ursula Ungaro in the United States District Court, Southern District of Florida.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 16.14 + 9.95%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 64.43 + 6.87%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.35 - 24.18%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 16.74 + 8.77%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the name of the first steam turbine powered vessel and where did she make her debut?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Name the former liners that were sold to the Iranian government for use as accommodation ships in the 1970's?

Answer - After only 10 years of service the Michelangelo and Raffaello of the Italian Line were sold to the Iranian Government
courtesy of liberte50 at t-online.de


Cruise News - August 17, 2020

BOLT, First Rollercoaster At Sea Aboard Carnival’s New Mardi Gras Completes Shoreside Test Run
Today is National Rollercoaster Day and to celebrate Carnival Cruise Line has released a new video highlighting a shoreside test run of BOLT, the first rollercoaster at sea, debuting on the new Mardi Gras in February. The video can be viewed here.

Shot in Munich, Germany, at Mauer Rides, the manufacturer of the groundbreaking top-deck attraction, the engaging video showcases all that went into creating the incredible heart-racing attraction where guests ride across nearly 800 feet of suspended track achieving speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.

The video illustrates how BOLT was designed and assembled in the Munich factory for the initial unmanned test runs and was reassembled and installed aboard Mardi Gras at the Meyer Turku Shipyard in Finland where the ship is being built. There’s also computer-generated footage that shows BOLT’s colorful custom-made cars encircling the track past Mardi Gras’ iconic funnel as well as the sprawling Ultimate Playground water park.

BOLT will be among the many features and amenities aboard Mardi Gras when it enters service from Port Canaveral, Fla., Feb. 6, 2021, operating year-round seven-day itineraries.

Holland America Line Opens Bookings for 2022 Grand World Voyage and 2021 Grand Africa Voyage
Holland America Line is opening bookings for two of its most epic explorations: the 2022 Grand World Voyage and the 2021 Grand Africa Voyage. Guests who want to circle the globe on the 128-day odyssey can now make their Grand World Voyage and Africa circumnavigation reservations. Both itineraries are conveniently roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and include overnight calls at some of the world's most iconic cities.

As an added incentive to make Grand Voyage reservations, Holland America Line is offering Early Booking Benefits on both itineraries to guests who book the full cruise. Bonus amenities include an onboard spending credit, prepaid gratuities, luggage delivery service and more. Plus, those who book also receive 3% savings off the cruise-only fare when paid in full by June 1, 2021, for the Grand World Voyage and Feb, 26, 2021, for the Grand Africa Voyage.

Holland America Line's 2022 Grand World Voyage aboard Zaandam travels around the globe on a 128-day journey that features an extensive collection of ports, longer stays and leisurely overnights ashore. Departing Fort Lauderdale Jan. 3, 2022, on a westward route, the Grand World Voyage charts a course from continent to continent, immersing guests in each destination so they come away with a deeper understanding of the places visited along the way. Highlights of the 2022 Grand World Voyage include:

• Fifty ports of call in 27 countries, territories and island nations across four continents.

• Overnight calls at nine ports, including Tokyo and Kobe (Osaka), Japan; Xingang (Beijing), Shanghai and Hong Kong, China; Singapore; Mumbai (Bombay), India; Aqaba, Jordan (overnight and next-day late departure); and Istanbul, Turkey.

• Late-night departures at 10 ports, including Hilo, Hawaii; Naha, Okinawa, Japan; Da Nang, Vietnam; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Dubai and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Aqaba; Ashdod (Jerusalem) and Haifa (Nazareth), Israel; and Mykonos, Greece.

• Scenic cruising in the Amazon River, Kanmon Strait and Dardanelles; transits of the Panama and Suez canals.

• Two equator crossings on one crossing of the International Date Line.

In fall 2021, Holland America Line's Grand Africa Voyage will circle the continent and features more than a dozen epic safari experiences and wildlife encounters. The 71-day cruise aboard Zaandam departs Fort Lauderdale Oct. 10, 2021, and takes a clockwise route around the continent. Highlights include:

• 18 African calls, with additional visits to San Juan, Puerto Rico; Funchal, Madeira; Crete, Greece; and Aqaba, Jordan.

• Overnight stays at Aqaba; Mahe, Seychelles; Zanzibar, Tanzania; and Cape Town, South Africa (overnight and next-day late departure).

• Late-night departures at Crete; Safaga, Egypt; Richards Bay and Cape Town, South Africa; Walvis Bay, Namibia; and San Juan.

• Wildlife opportunities at Jozani Forest Reserve, Lokobe National Park, Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve, Aqulia Game Reserve, Abuko Nature Reserve, Bandia Wildlife Reserve and more.

St Kitts and Nevis Will Allow Two Royal Caribbean Shipd to Safely Harbour
The Federation of St Kitts and Nevis outlined the process for safely harbouring two Royal Caribbean vessels this week. In a press conference today, the Minister of Tourism, Lindsay Grant, said that the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines reached out to the islands to harbour the Vision of the Seas and the Rhapsody of the Seas at Port Zante. Both cruise ships will arrive on August 19th with 70 crew members on each vessel.

According to the Minister, each crew member will be given an RT-PCR test upon arrival and quarantine for 14 days on their vessels. When all crew members receive a negative test at the end of their quarantine, they will be allowed to disembark while observing social distancing and mask-wearing safety measures. There are currently zero active cases of COVID-19 on the island.

"The health and the safety of our citizens, residents, and of our visitors remains our number one priority […] We have taken all the necessary health and safety protocols to ensure that St Kitts and Nevis remains safe." Minister Grant noted. "This assistance represents the true nature of our people to support others in a time of need," he added.

The Minister said that he did not doubt that citizens would be welcoming to the crew. He also said that this initiative would benefit many businesses because those on board would be using local amenities.

Port Zante, financed partly by the country's Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme, allows the twin-island to host up to three of the largest ships in the world. The islands welcomed an astonishing 1 million cruise passengers for two consecutive years. The small but ambitious Caribbean country now holds the marquee status of larger cruise destinations in the region.

Costa Cruises To Resume Service In September For Italian Guests Only
With the aim of ensuring maximum safety for guests, crew and the destination communities, and in line with its decision to restart responsibly, Costa Cruises announces that the September cruises of Costa Deliziosa from Trieste and Costa Diadema from Genoa will be reserved exclusively for Italian guests, with one-week itineraries calling at Italian ports only, allowing to rediscover in safety Italy's finest destinations.

The decision was made considering the evolution of the epidemiological scenario and taking in account the regulation issued today by the Italian Ministry of Health regarding mandatory checks for travellers returning from some European and foreign destinations, which suggests a cautious approach. Therefore, this solution will allow Costa guests to better enjoy their holiday, with less worries.

The departure dates of the two ships are confirmed - Costa Deliziosa on September 6, 13, 20, 27 and Costa Diadema on September 19 - while further details on the itineraries will be announced as soon as possible. Costa is continuing to work in close cooperation with Flag State authorities, Italian Regions, local institutions, health authorities, harbour master's offices, ports and terminals and RINA to ensure a responsible, smooth and well organized application of the new regulations and protocols approved by the Italian Government for the restart of cruises.

The company also confirms the extension until 30 September 2020 of the pause for all the other cruises, except for the above-mentioned departures of Costa Deliziosa and Costa Diadema. Costa is informing the impacted Guests and travel agents. They will be guaranteed a reprotection in accordance with the applicable legislation.

Costa is working for a responsible and safe resumption of its cruises starting from 6 September, as already announced in recent days, tirelessly monitoring the epidemiological situation that is constantly evolving. The company hopes that from October the situation will allow to welcome on board its ships also guests of other nationalities.

In order to offer the best possible holiday experience, while protecting the safety of guests, crew, and the residents of the local communities, Costa Cruises has developed the Costa Safety Protocol for its fleet, including new operating procedures in response to the COVID-19 situation. Supported by a panel of independent scientific experts in Public Health coordinated by V.I.H.T.A.L.I. (Value in Health Technology and Academy for Leadership and Innovation), a spin-off of the Università Cattolica of Rome, the Costa Safety Protocol is consistent with the health protocols defined by the Italian Government and European (EU Healthy Gateways) authorities. The protocol will be constantly updated based on the evolution of the scenario and medical knowledge.

Seabourn Targeting Charters, Incentive, Meeting & Group Travelers
Seabourn is making it easier for prospective charter, incentive, meeting & group travel clients to understand why a Seabourn ship may be the perfect choice for their next gathering. The brand recently added a substantial amount of information to its website dedicated to this niche segment of the travel industry.

The pages begin with a robust outline of reasons why one of Seabourn's ultra-luxury ships can be a competitive choice vs. a traditional land-based hotel or resort. The brand's small ship environment offers the opportunity to "wow" almost any guest list with multiple destinations in one trip, coupled with a sophisticated onboard all-inclusive environment and service delivered by a crew that is educated and trained to deliver the finest in hospitality service.

"There are probably a fair number of brokers and travel advisors who don't even know they can consider an ultra-luxury ship for a corporate meeting, an incentive trip for top performers, or even for private clients who might want the ultimate in memorable vacations all the way up to chartering the ship for their private use," said Pierre Van Breda, deputy director for Global Charter, Incentive and Group Sales at Seabourn. "Now prospective clients can gather up a lot of useful information on our site to help them in their decision-making process before coming to us for a bespoke quotation crafted specifically to their needs."

Today's luxury traveler is placing greater value on privacy and smaller ship travel, and Seabourn delivers this where groups will find a sophisticated, spacious environment onboard with high space-to-guest ratios that create a comfortable travel experience free of long lines or crowds in public spaces. That same sense of space extends to guest accommodations, which are all-suite ocean front - most with private furnished verandas - and distinct living and sleeping areas, along with generous bathrooms and even walk-in closets. Off the ship, the destinations on many Seabourn itineraries also include smaller, less-crowded ports of call only accessible by smaller ships and yachts.

"Seabourn has a long history of delivering extraordinary guest experiences and now with our expanded charter offerings, specialized groups can organize unique and exceptional events with greater ease and options," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn.

The updated web content also outlines the amenities included in a Seabourn experience such as the availability of dedicated meeting space and the use of audio-visual equipment included in the client's quotation. Coupled with the inclusion of food and beverage across the ship, prospective clients will quickly see how the value increases while the amount of time to coordinate these items separately decreases when compared to other venues. Site visitors will also find links to specific ships, details about public and private spaces, and a photo gallery to make the information gathering process easier.

Content related to the brand's new expedition ships, which will also be available for charters, incentive, meeting and group travel will also be added in the coming weeks.

Royal Caribbean Group Secures A Commitment For A $700 Million Facility
Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) today announced that it has secured a binding commitment from Morgan Stanley for a $700 million term loan facility. The Company may draw on the facility at any time prior to August 12, 2021. Once drawn, the loan will bear interest at L + 3.75% and will mature 364 days from funding. The facility will be guaranteed by RCI Holdings, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company that owns the equity interests in subsidiaries that own seven of the Company's vessels.

The Company has the ability to increase the capacity of the facility by an additional $300 million from time to time subject to the receipt of additional or increased commitments and the issuance of guarantees from additional subsidiaries of the Company. If drawn, the Company expects to use the net proceeds for general corporate purposes.

Perella Weinberg Partners LP served as financial advisor and Skadden Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP served as legal advisor to the company in connection with the term loan facility.

Carnival Corporation & plc Announces Closing of 9.875% Second-Priority Senior Secured Notes due 2027
Carnival Corporation & plc today announced that Carnival Corporation (the "Corporation") has closed its private offering of $900 million aggregate principal amount of 9.875% Second-Priority Senior Secured Notes due 2027 (the "Secured Notes"). The Corporation expects to use the net proceeds from the offering of the Secured Notes for general corporate purposes.

The Secured Notes were offered only to persons reasonably believed to be qualified institutional buyers in reliance on Rule 144A under the Securities Act, and outside the United States, only to non-U.S. investors pursuant to Regulation S. The Secured Notes will not be registered under the Securities Act or any state securities laws and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act and applicable state laws.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 14.68 - 4.92%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 60.29 + 5.20%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.46 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 15.39 + 1.72%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the former liners that were sold to the Iranian government for use as accommodation ships in the 1970's?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which former White Star liner retained her original White Star name (ending in -ic) and funnel colors well after the two lines merged in 1934 until she was retired in late 1960?

Answer - The ship you speak of was the M/V Britannic, third White Star liner to bear that name and sister to the Georgic. Noted for their "low profile", these ships were sleek and popular.
courtesy of Shawn Ladd, Chicago, IL


Cruise News - August 10, 2020

Costa Cruises to Restart Vacations On September 6th
Following the approval yesterday by the Italian government of the resumption of cruises and the new health protocol, Costa Cruises is planning to restart its operations from Italian ports gradually on September 6, 2020.

The return to cruising will be progressive, involving an increasing number of ships. The first ship to set sail will be Costa Deliziosa, on September 6, 2020, offering weekly cruises from Trieste to discover the most beautiful destinations in Greece. She will be followed by Costa Diadema, on September 19, 2020, operating seven-day cruises in Western Mediterranean from Genoa to experience the best of Italy and Malta.

From the entry into force of the new decree by the Italian government, Costa Cruises is working with Flag State authorities and the destinations to ensure a responsible, smooth and well-organized application of the new regulations and protocols, in close cooperation with the local institutions, health authorities, harbour master's offices, ports and terminals, and RINA. Consequently, further details on the Costa Deliziosa and Costa Diadema itineraries will be announced in the coming days.

As the gradual implementation of these protocols is completed on board and ashore, the company must extend the pause of its cruise season until September 30, 2020, except for the above-mentioned departures of Costa Deliziosa (September 6, 13, 20, 27) and Costa Diadema (September 19). Costa is informing the impacted guests and travel agents. They will be guaranteed a reprotection in accordance with the applicable legislation.

In order to offer the best possible holiday experience, while protecting the safety of guests, crew and the residents of the local communities, Costa Cruises has developed the Costa Safety Protocol for its fleet, including new operating procedures in response to the COVID-19 situation. Supported by a panel of independent scientific experts in public health coordinated by V.I.H.T.A.L.I. (Value in Health Technology and Academy for Leadership and Innovation), a spin-off of the Università Cattolica of Rome, the Costa Safety Protocol is consistent with the health protocols defined by the Italian government and European (EU Healthy Gateways) authorities.

Royal Caribbean Annouonces $1.6 Billion Loss for Second Quarter
Royal Caribbean Group today reported financial results for the second quarter of 2020 and commented on the business in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Second Quarter 2020

Starting on March 13, 2020 and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Royal Caribbean said that it suspended its global cruise operation. This resulted in the cancellation of all of the Company's second quarter sailings.

Royal Caribbean said that it reported US GAAP Net Loss for the second quarter of 2020 of $(1.6) billion or $(7.83) per share compared to US GAAP Net Income of $472.8 million or $2.25 per share in the prior year. The 2020 results include a non-cash asset impairment loss of $156.5 million. Royal Caribbean said that it reported Adjusted Net Loss of $(1.3) billion or $(6.13) per share for the second quarter of 2020 compared to Adjusted Net Income of $532.7 million or $2.54 per share in the prior year. The Net Loss for the quarter is a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the business.

Business Update

"The COVID-19 pandemic is posing an unprecedented challenge to our industry and society. Our teams are working tirelessly to return to service soonest and doing so by developing new health and safety protocols to protect the well-being of our guests, crew and destinations we visit," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO. "In the meantime, we are using this time to refine our operations to be as efficient as we can while providing the great experiences that so many people are eagerly awaiting."

Regarding the new health and safety protocols, Royal Caribbean said that it is being advised by a "Healthy Sail Panel" of experts in areas of science and public health with backgrounds in medical practice, research, infectious disease, biosecurity, hospitality and maritime operations.

Update on Liquidity Actions and Ongoing Uses of Cash

Given the current environment, Royal Caribbean said that it continues to prioritize and bolster its liquidity, working to ensure it is well positioned for recovery. Since the last earnings call, Royal Caribbean said that it has taken further actions to enhance its liquidity, preserve cash and secure additional financing. Among these latest efforts the Company highlighted the following:

• The issuance of $1.0 billion of priority guaranteed notes and $1.15 billion of convertible notes;

• The issuance of GBP 300 million of commercial paper in the UK providing over $370 million of additional liquidity;

• Completed a $0.9 billion 12-month debt amortization holiday from all export-credit backed facilities;

• Amended over $11 billion of commercial bank and export credit facilities to provide covenant waivers through the fourth quarter of 2021; and

• Further reduced operating expenses due to the fleet layup measures and actions to decrease sales, marketing and administrative expenses.

In addition, Royal Caribbean said that it has $11.3 billion of committed credit facilities that are available to fund ship deliveries originally planned through 2025.

"We continue to take substantial actions to bolster our financial position," said Jason T. Liberty, executive vice president and CFO. "We have accessed the capital market in an opportunistic manner and continue to aggressively manage our spend. We are prepared to navigate a volatile period while making decisions that position the Company well for the recovery."

Royal Caribbean said that it estimates its cash burn to be, on average, in the range of approximately $250 million to $290 million per month during a prolonged suspension of operations. This range includes all interest expenses, including the increases driven by the latest capital raises. It also includes ongoing ship operating expenses, administrative expenses, hedging costs, expected necessary capital expenditures (net of committed financings in the case of newbuilds) and excludes cash refunds of customer deposits, commissions, debt obligations and cash inflows from new and existing bookings. Royal Caribbean said that it is considering ways to further reduce its average monthly cash burn under a further prolonged out-of-service scenario and during re-start of operations.

Liquidity and Financing Arrangements

As of June 30, 2020, Royal Caribbean said that it had liquidity of approximately $4.1 billion all in the form of cash and cash equivalents. Royal Caribbean said that it noted that as of June 30, 2020, the scheduled debt maturities for the remainder of 2020 and 2021, are $0.3 billion and $1.3 billion, respectively.

Capital Expenditures and Capacity Updates The expected capital expenditures for the remainder of 2020 and 2021 are $0.6 billion and $1.8 billion, respectively. These expenditures are mostly related to newbuild projects.

COVID-19 has impacted shipyard operations and will result in delivery delays for newbuilds. Currently, Royal Caribbean said that it expects that three of the five ships originally scheduled for delivery between July of 2020 and December of 2021 will be delivered within the remaining time frame. Two of these ships are Silver Moon and Silver Dawn, with capacity lower than 600 berths.

Update on Bookings

The extended suspension of cruising has significantly impacted bookings for the remainder of 2020 which are meaningfully lower than same time last year and at lower prices.

Although still early in the booking cycle, the booked position for 2021 is trending well and is within historical ranges. Royal Caribbean said that it has implemented various programs to best serve its booked guests providing the choice of future cruise credits ("FCCs") or the opportunity to "Lift & Shift" their booking to the same sailing the following year in lieu of providing cash refunds. For the booking period since our last business update, approximately 60% of the 2021 bookings are new and the rest are due to the redemption of FCCs and the "Lift & Shift" program. Pricing for 2021 bookings is relatively flat year-over-year when including the negative yield impact of bookings made with future cruise credits; it is slightly up year-over-year when excluding them.

As of June 30, 2020, Royal Caribbean said that it had $1.8 billion in customer deposits of which approximately $300 million correspond to fourth quarter 2020 sailings. Approximately 48% of the guests booked on cancelled sailings have requested cash refunds.

2020 Outlook

The magnitude, duration and speed of COVID-19 remains uncertain. As a consequence, Royal Caribbean said that it cannot estimate the impact of COVID-19 on its business, financial condition or near or longer-term financial or operational results with reasonable certainty. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Royal Caribbean said that it expects to incur a net loss on both a US GAAP and adjusted basis for its third quarter and the 2020 fiscal year, the extent of which will depend on the timing and extent of the return to service.

Interest expense for the remainder of the year (July 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020) will be in the range of $505 million to $515 million.

As of June 30, 2020, Royal Caribbean said that it had hedged approximately 64%, 40%, 23% and 5% of its total projected metric tons of fuel consumption for the remainder of 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023, respectively. The current suspension of our cruise operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in reductions to our forecasted fuel consumption. As of June 30, 2020, we had outstanding fuel swaps of 172,050 and 15,200 metric tons maturing in 2020 and 2021, respectively, that no longer hedged our forecasted fuel consumption. For the same four-year period, the annual average cost per metric ton of the fuel swap portfolio is approximately $423, $435, $514 and $580, respectively.

Holland America Line Extends Its Pause of Cruise Operations Through Dec. 15th
With the continuation of travel and port restrictions due to global health concerns, Holland America Line is extending its pause of cruise operations and cancelling departures on all ships through Dec. 15, 2020.

The pause extension affects Caribbean, Mexico, Panama Canal, Pacific Coastal, South America, Antarctica, Hawaii, South Pacific, Australia and Asia itineraries.

Those with impacted cruises automatically will be cancelled, and no action is needed for guests opting for the Future Cruise Credit (FCC). All guests will receive an FCC per person as follows:

• Paid in Full: Those who had paid in full will receive 125% FCC of the base cruise fare paid to Holland America Line.

• Not Paid in Full: Those with bookings not paid in full will receive an FCC of double the amount of the deposit paid for the cruise. The minimum FCC is $100 and the maximum will be an amount up to the base cruise fare paid.

The FCC is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and may be used to book sailings departing through Dec. 31, 2022. All other funds paid to Holland America Line may be transferred to a new booking or will automatically be refunded via the method of payment used to purchase the services.

Guests who prefer a 100% refund of monies paid to Holland America Line can visit the Cancellation Preferences form to indicate this preference no later than Sept. 15, 2020.

The above options are not applicable to guests booked on a charter sailing. Other booking and cancellation conditions and policies may?apply if the cruise was not booked through Holland America Line. See the terms and conditions in the Cancellation Preferences form for all details.

Seabourn Announces Upcoming Voyage Cancellations For Three Ships
Seabourn, the ultra-luxury travel experience, announced today that it will cancel upcoming voyages for three cruise ships in its fleet as a part of its pause in global ship operations.

The announcement applies to Seabourn Encore, Seabourn Ovation, and Seabourn Sojourn with each ship having a different "effective through" date. Specific details are as follows:

• Seabourn Encore: with its operations pause effective through November 25, 2020.

• Seabourn Ovation: with its operations pause effective through December 20, 2020.

• Seabourn Sojourn: paused through World Cruise 2021, with its operations pause effective through May 24, 2021.

The brand had previously announced a pause in its global ship operations from March 14 to November 20, 2020, depending on the ship, effectively cancelling all voyages scheduled to operate during that timeframe. The decision to cancel additional voyages is a proactive action to deal with the circumstances continuing to evolve from the global response to the COVID-19 situation.

"We've been saying for some time that our resumption of service will come gradually, and this action reflects that discussion. The health, safety and well-being of our guests, crew and the people in destinations we visit remain a top priority," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "Like many who watch the travel industry, we are encouraged by the signs emerging around the world that point to travel's progress toward return. When our expert science and medical advisors and our destinations support the ability to resume travel on Seabourn, we'll be ready."

Seabourn will be communicating changes for voyages scheduled to depart in the extension timeframe with all booked guests and their travel advisors.

Guests currently confirmed on Seabourn Sojourn's 2021 World Cruise will be automatically re-accommodated in the same suite on Seabourn Sojourn's 2022 World Cruise, at rate paid, within 30 days.

Guests with impacted cruises (except World Cruise 2021) will automatically be cancelled and all guests will receive Bonus Future Cruise Credits. They can also request a full refund of monies paid to Seabourn. Specific details are as follows:

• Paid in Full: those guests paid in full will receive 125% Future Cruise Credit of the base cruise fare paid to Seabourn. Guests can also request a full refund of the monies paid to Seabourn.

• Under Deposit: those guests with bookings under deposit will receive a Future Cruise Credit valued at 125% of the deposit amount paid. Guests can also request a full refund of the monies paid to Seabourn.

The Future Cruise Credit is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and may be used to book sailings departing through Dec. 31, 2022. The amount of non-cruise fare purchases may be transferred to a new booking. Alternatively, guests may request a refund of the monies paid to Seabourn, which will be reimbursed to the original form of payment.

A Journey to Finland and Back Home Again
Petu Kummala, senior director of interior design and architecture for Carnival Cruise Line, dispels the old adage that you can’t go home again.

The Finnish native has the good fortune to return to his hometown of Turku every few months when he checks on the progress of Mardi Gras, the line’s newest and most innovative ship. “It really is quite amazing that after living in Miami for the past two decades, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to visit my hometown where our newest ship is being built and soak up the unique culture that I grew up with.”

His path from a child growing up in Turku to heading up the design team of the world’s most popular cruise line is a circuitous one. Kummala literally grew up watching ships come in and out the Turku shipyard on a daily basis – “the shipyard is not just a huge economic engine for the community but an enormous source of pride for local residents” – and even worked summers building and installing furniture for ferries built at the yard.

Always fascinated by drawing and design, Kummala studied at the Turku Naval Architecture School and after graduating he had a chance meeting with Carnival’s legendary interior designer Joe Farcus who offered him a job in 1999. “After gaining my composure, it took me about a minute to agree to work for Joe and I started designing Carnival Spirit as well as Costa Atlantica from his Miami Beach studio.”

Kummala spent the next 14 years working with Farcus and then started his own firm, 358 Design, in Miami. In 2015, Carnival’s Senior Vice President of Newbuilds Ben Clement asked Kummala to join the Carnival team to help finalize design details for Carnival Vista and begin work on a new 180,000-ton ship that would eventually become Mardi Gras.

“When I heard that Mardi Gras would be constructed in Turku, I couldn’t contain my excitement but I couldn’t tell anyone, especially my mother – she’s the worst at keeping a secret!” he said.

Kummala is part of a talented, hard-working team that has been involved with virtually every design aspect of Mardi Gras, from passenger flow and venue location to the unique atrium concept and the six distinctive zones lined with an array of distinctive dining, bar and entertainment choices.

Outside of visiting his parents and enjoying some Finnish cuisine that he can’t get in Miami, Kummala use his free time in Turku for one of his favorite hometown activities – heating up in the sauna and breaking through the ice to swim in the sub-freezing waters of a local river. “It is invigorating to say the least. I’ve convinced everyone on the Miami design team to give it a try – they loved it!” he exclaimed.

When he heads home to Miami, Kummala makes sure to stuff his suitcase full of traditional delicacies like herring, rye bread, and a special kind of salty licorice called “salmiakki” for his adult sons who grew up enjoying the treats.

So what’s next for this talented designer? Right now he’s finalizing plans for the soon-to-be-named second Excel-class ship that promises some new surprises from her sister ship Mardi Gras and of course thinking up new and innovative ways to build upon the uniqueness of the Carnival vacation experience.

“Working on Mardi Gras has been one of the highlights of my career and building it in my hometown has made it even more special. Seeing ideas that our team conceived years ago come to life before your eyes is truly astonishing and that’s when you realize all the hard work was worth it,” he said. ”I really can’t wait for guests to see how amazing Mardi Gras will be. We build these ships for them.”

Mardi Gras is scheduled to enter service from Port Canaveral, Fla., Feb. 6, and her sister ship is set to debut from PortMiami in November 2022.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 15.44 + 19.13%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 57.31 + 20.93%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.46 - 7.14%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 15.13 + 15.85%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which former White Star liner retained her original White Star name (ending in -ic) and funnel colors well after the two lines merged in 1934 until she was retired in late 1960?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
If you were departing on a transatlantic crossing from Pier 90 in New York City in the early 1950's, what shipping company would you most likely have been traveling on?

Answer - In the 1950's when you live the pier 90, you were on a CUNARD's Ocean Liner.
courtesy of Thomas Mousse, Italy


Cruise News - August 3, 2020

Carnival Cruise Line Joins Industrywide Pause in U.S. Through Oct. 31
Consistent with the decision announced today by the members of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) to voluntarily extend the pause in U.S. cruise embarkations until Oct. 31, 2020, Carnival Cruise Line has informed guests and travel advisors that we have cancelled all cruises scheduled to embark between Oct. 1 and Oct. 31.

Guests are being offered an enhanced value package of a future cruise credit and onboard credit, or a full refund.

If conditions in the U.S. change and short and modified sailings are possible, the industry may consider an earlier restart, and we would consider that as well. In the meantime, we will continue to work with public health and government officials to finalize enhanced health and sanitation protocols and procedures that will guide our eventual return to service.

We thank our guests for their continued patience and support as we work through these difficult decisions. When the time is right, our terrific onboard team will be waiting to welcome our guests back to give them the great vacation they deserve.

Carnival Corporation Delivers Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Inspiration To Scrappers
Carnival Corporation today announced agreements with maritime reclamation and recycling specialists EGE CELIK and SIMSEKLER to responsibly dismantle and recycle two retired ships scheduled to leave its fleet. The move comes as part of the company's strategy for a phased resumption of cruise vacations with specific ships and brands returning to service over time.

Carnival Corporation worked with the environmental non-profit Bellona Foundation – a lead partner in the NGO Shipbreaking Platform – and the specialized ship recycling experts Sea2Cradle to formulate an approach to dismantling and recycling the ships. The organizations also helped identify best-in-class certified maritime vessel retirement solutions worldwide that are able to reuse, reclaim and recycle retired ships in support of Carnival Corporation's commitment to a sustainable cruise industry.

"Our highest responsibility and top priorities are compliance, environmental protection, and the health, safety and well-being of our guests, the communities we visit and our crew," said Bill Burke, chief maritime officer for Carnival Corporation. "That commitment extends to our cruise ships, starting from the moment a ship becomes part of our fleet and continuing all the way through to its retirement. In addition to limiting our vessels' impact on the environment throughout their service time in our fleet, recycling our retired ships following the European Ship Recycling Regulation ensures we are applying the highest global standards and contributing to a sustainable cruise industry."

After an intensive review of sustainable ship recycling facilities, Carnival Corporation selected Turkey-based EGE CELIK and SIMSEKLER based on their track records of compliance with key national and international environmental agreements and regulations. Both recycling companies are certified by the Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships. They are also strictly required to adhere to a complex matrix of global standards set forth by the European Union (EU), International Maritime Organization (IMO), International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Basel Convention multilateral environmental agreement.

The recycling companies will formulate a Ship Recycle Plan for each vessel – Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Inspiration – that goes beyond what is required by consulting with Carnival Corporation's advisor Sea2Cradle to ensure optimal compliance with key national and international environmental standards. Each plan will include a complete inventory of hazardous and regulated materials and the procedures planned for safely removing and processing the materials in an environmentally friendly way. Once these materials are safely removed and processed, the companies will begin dismantling each ship.

Ships will be stripped of machinery, electronic equipment, glass, wood and other materials that can be directly upcycled for reuse in new ships, used in ship repair or repurposed for other applications. Steel and metal scraps will be salvaged and recycled for direct use or be sent to the mill for producing other products and goods. Working on behalf of Carnival Corporation and as an added assurance, Sea2Cradle will supervise ship dismantling and recycling at the demolition yards throughout the entire process to ensure the highest health, safety and environmental standards are maintained.

"We are proud to collaborate with Carnival Corporation for the clean and safe recycling of their retired cruise vessels," said Wouter Rozenveld, director, Sea2Cradle. "We recently carried out the Inventory of Hazardous Materials that will form the basis of a unique ship recycling plan created for each vessel."

Added Rozenveld: "Our experienced supervisors will be present at the yard during the entire recycling process, to ensure the recycling plan is adhered to and that all health, safety and environmental measures are followed. We will also see to it that non-recyclable materials are being disposed of and treated properly, and we will remain on-site until the last piece of steel is brought to the smelter to produce new products."

Sea2Cradle estimates that a significant percentage of the ship materials from both vessels will be reused, reclaimed or recycled.

Holland America Line Changes Name of Newbuild to Iconic Rotterdam
In honor of some of the most memorable ships in Holland America Line's nearly 150-year history, the premium cruise line is changing the name of its newbuild from Ryndam to Rotterdam and designating it the new flagship of the fleet. The seventh ship to bear this historic name, Rotterdam will be delivered one year to the date on July 30, 2021, pushed back slightly from its original delivery of May 2021 due to the global health situation.

When Rotterdam is delivered from Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard in Italy, it will spend the summer exploring Northern Europe and the Baltic on roundtrip cruises from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Guests and travel advisors with clients who were booked on the ship's Premiere Voyage in May and itineraries through July 30 are being contacted with rebooking options.

"The first ship for Holland America Line was the original Rotterdam, the company was headquartered in the city of Rotterdam for many years, and the name has been a hallmark throughout our history since 1872 … so clearly the name is powerful and symbolic," said Gus Antorcha, Holland America Line's president. "With the current Rotterdam leaving the company, we knew we had a unique opportunity to embrace the name as our new flagship and carry on the tradition of having a Rotterdam in our fleet. Seven is a lucky number, and we know she's going to bring a lot of joy to our guests as she travels across the globe."

Holland America Line's first ship was Rotterdam, which sailed its maiden voyage from the Netherlands to New York Oct. 15, 1872, and led to the founding of the company on April 18, 1873. Rotterdam II was built in 1878 for British Ship Owners Co. and purchased by Holland America Line in 1886. Rotterdam III came along in 1897 and was with the company until 1906. The fourth Rotterdam joined the fleet in 1908 and also served as a troop carrier when World War I ended. Following the war it made regular cruises from New York to the Mediterranean.

Rotterdam V, also known as "The Grande Dame," set sail in 1959 and began sailing transatlantic crossings with two classes of service. It later converted to a one-class ship in 1969. She sailed with Holland America Line for 38 years until 1997, including several Grand World Voyages, and currently is a hotel and museum in the city of Rotterdam. Rotterdam VI, the most recent to cruise for Holland America Line, was introduced in 1997 and the first ship in the R Class.

Cruising aboard Rotterdam VII begins Aug. 1 with the ship's seven-day Premiere Voyage departing from Trieste, Italy, to Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, with port calls throughout the Adriatic Sea and southern Italy. The ship sails Aug. 8 from Civitavecchia on a 14-day cruise through the western Mediterranean and on to Amsterdam.

From Aug. 22 through Oct. 10, the ship will sail roundtrip from Amsterdam on three seven-day itineraries to Norway, one 14-day to the Baltic and one 14-day to Norway, Iceland and the British Isles. A trans-Atlantic completes the inaugural Europe season with a 14-day voyage from Amsterdam to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

To accommodate guests booked on cancelled itineraries of Ryndam from May through July, Nieuw Statendam cruise itineraries also will see some changes to match up as much as possible with former Ryndam sailings.

"Guests and travel advisors will be notified today of this news and coming changes to current itineraries," added Antorcha. "We ask everyone, though, to please bear with us just a few weeks for all of the details as we rebuild itineraries and put the finishing touches on several desirable alternatives. We will follow up with specific details very soon so everyone knows their options."

Guests booked on the originally scheduled Premiere Voyage will be rebooked on the Premier Sailing for Rotterdam, departing August 1, and will receive a $100 per person shipboard credit. All other guests who were booked on impacted Ryndam or Nieuw Statendam cruises will be automatically rebooked to a similar future cruise date during the summer at the same fare paid. Guests will receive a $100 per person shipboard credit for cruises 10 days or less and $250 per person for itineraries of 12 days or more. Guests are asked to wait until they receive updated booking confirmations in the next several weeks before contacting Holland America Line for additional changes to the booking.

The third in the Pinnacle Class series, Rotterdam will carry 2,668 guests, measure 99,500 tons and feature highly successful amenities and innovations introduced with her sister ships, including the 270-degree surround screen World Stage, Rudi's Sel de Mer and Grand Dutch Café. Delivering the best of everything, Rotterdam celebrates live music with an exclusive collection of world-class performances each night - from Lincoln Center Stage and B.B. King's Blues Club to Rolling Stone Rock Room and Billboard Onboard.

Throughout the ship, Rotterdam also will showcase Holland America Line hallmarks that drive one of the highest guest repeat rates in the industry: exquisite cuisine guided by eight of the world's leading chefs; gracious, award-winning service; and superbly appointed staterooms and suites, including family and single accommodations.

Rotterdam is the 17th ship constructed for Holland America Line by Italian shipyard Fincantieri, which most recently built Nieuw Statendam. Naming details have not been finalized and will be announced later.

Aida Forced To Delay Resumption Of Service
AIDA Cruises released the following statement regarding their plans to resume service:The concepts and certifications for the restart of our cruise operation have been successfully developed and confirmed with the responsible authorities. Contrary to our expectations, the final formal approval for the start of the short trips from August 5, 2020 by our flag state Italy is still pending.

Unfortunately, we therefore have to cancel the planned short trips with AIDAperla and AIDAmar with departure dates between August 5 and 12, 2020.

After intensive preparations with the support of many national and international authorities and health experts, we have developed comprehensive concepts for the restart and implemented all increased hygiene standards and measures to protect against COVID-19 on board our ships.

We very much regret this delay. We would have loved to welcome our guests back on board from August 5, 2020.

We assume that we will receive the last formal approval by the flag state Italy in a timely manner.

All guests whose trip cannot take place as originally scheduled will be informed immediately.

AIDA very much wants guests to enjoy their AIDA holidays at a later date. To this end, we offer our guests the opportunity to rebook to a different cruise from our wide range of travel offers. AIDA appreciates guests for their confidence by offering them an on-board credit of 50% of the actual travel price.

We will automatically reimburse the travel price already paid and all services already booked on MyAIDA, according to the payment method made.

Royal Caribbean Group Sets Sail With Updated Corporate Identity
When a company is known for raising the bar on design and innovation, nothing is exempt from the mantra of continuous improvement—not even the company's own name.

That's why Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is now known by a new moniker: Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL).

"The name is simpler, fresher and more modern. It's also more descriptive—Royal Caribbean Group sounds like a parent company name, reflective of our growth and evolution since we last updated our identity more than 20 years ago," said Royal Caribbean Group chairman and CEO Richard Fain.

The company's flagship cruise line brands – Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Silversea, Azamara, TUI Cruises and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises – are all now proud members of Royal Caribbean Group.

Royal Caribbean Group's logo has also been updated. The company's iconic crown and anchor emblem has been sharpened and made more symmetrical, and now resides inside a circle at all times.

The Royal Caribbean Group identity was designed by Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 13.07 - 4.95%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 47.39 - 3.87%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.49 - 1.01%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 13.06 - 2.39%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
If you were departing on a transatlantic crossing from Pier 90 in New York City in the early 1950's, what shipping company would you most likely have been traveling on?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What is the largest twin-screw ocean liner ever built?

Answer - The largest twin-screw ocean liner ever built was Cunard's QE2.
courtesy of Robert Teskie, Los Angeles, CA


Cruise News - Juy 27, 2020

Royal Caribbean Group Reinvents Safety Drill
Royal Caribbean Group is replacing one of the least-loved but most important parts of a cruise vacation – the safety drill – with Muster 2.0™, an entirely new approach to delivering safety information to guests. The innovative program, the first of its kind, reimagines a process originally designed for large groups of people into a faster, more personal approach that encourages higher levels of safety.

With Muster 2.0, the key elements of the safety drill – including reviewing what to expect and where to go in case of an emergency, and instructions on how to properly use a life jacket – will be accessible to guests on an individual basis instead of a group approach that has been followed historically. New technology, eMuster™, will be used to help provide the information to guests via their mobile devices and interactive stateroom TVs. Travelers will be able to review the information at their own time prior to setting sail, eliminating the need for the traditional large group assemblies. The new approach also enables everyone on board to maintain better spacing as guests move about the ship, and it allows guests to enjoy more of their vacation with no interruption.

After reviewing safety information individually, guests will complete the drill by visiting their assigned assembly station, where a crew member will verify that all steps have been completed and answer questions. Each of the steps will need to be completed prior to the ship's departure, as required by international maritime law.

"The health and safety of our guests and crew are our number one priority, and the development of this new muster process is an elegant solution to an outdated, unpopular process," said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. "The fact that this will also save guests time and allow the ship to operate without pause means that we can increase health, safety and guest satisfaction simultaneously."

"Muster 2.0 represents a natural extension of our mission to improve our guests' vacation experiences by removing points of friction," said Jay Schneider, Royal Caribbean Group's senior vice president of digital. "In this instance, what's most convenient for our guests is also the safest option in light of needing to reimagine social spaces in the wake of COVID-19."

This marks the first dramatic change to the safety drill process in a decade, since Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas moved the life jackets from guest staterooms to the muster stations, which improved the evacuation process and has been widely followed throughout the industry. More than a year in the making, Muster 2.0 is also an initiative that will be part of the comprehensive set of protocols and procedures Royal Caribbean Group is developing along with the Healthy Sail Panel that was recently assembled in collaboration with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

"This new process represents the kind of innovation that the Healthy Sail Panel is focusing on as part of its mission to enhance the health and safety of cruising," said former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, co-chair of the Healthy Sail Panel. "It shows that we can accomplish a lot if we try to think outside the box on safety."

"I'd like to extend my congratulations to Royal Caribbean Group on this innovative milestone. It's exactly what our industry needs during these unprecedented times and we appreciate the generous offer to participate in this innovation," said Frank Del Rio, President and CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. "In this industry, we all work cooperatively to enhance health and safety, and this is an example of that."

The distributed muster for ocean-going vessels concept is patented in the United States and is patent-pending in major markets around the world, including the various cruise industry flag states. The company has also worked with international regulators, the U.S. Coast Guard and other maritime and government authorities to ensure it meets all safety requirements.

In addition to introducing the new process on the ships of its own cruise lines – Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara – Royal Caribbean Group is offering to license the patented technology to interested cruise operators and will waive patent license fees during the time the world and industry battle the global pandemic. Patent licenses have already been granted to the company's joint venture, TUI Cruises GmbH, as well as Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., the parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Muster 2.0 was first tested on Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas in January 2020. Guests who took part in the mock process indicated a strong preference for the new approach and also reported better comprehension and retention of the safety information.

Carnival Cruise Line Announces Updates To Fleet Plan
Carnival Cruise Line today announced new plans for its fleet that will generate tremendous guest excitement once it resumes sailing, with a confirmed date for an additional Excel-class, LNG-powered ship arriving in November 2022, four ships either sold or put on long term lay-up status, and other ships redeployed to new homeports, as it seeks to leverage its strong network of year-round and seasonal homeports in the U.S. with upgraded offerings. The highlights of the plan include:

• As part of Carnival's 50th birthday in 2022, a November 2022 delivery date for the unnamed, second Excel-class ship has been confirmed from the Meyer Turku shipyard. The sister ship to Mardi Gras will showcase many of her features, including BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, and sail out of PortMiami as previously announced. Carnival said it will open the ship for sale this fall and guests can register to be the "first to know" about the ship's itineraries and special open for sale promotions at www.carnival.com/ship2022.

• As part of Carnival Corporation's recent announcement to reduce its overall capacity and focus on ships with upgraded features, Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Inspiration have been sold. Carnival Fascination and Carnival Imagination will move to a long term lay-up status, with no specific timeline identified for a return to operation.

• Carnival Sensation will move from Miami to Mobile and take up itineraries previously assigned to Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Fascination, with guests on those two ships being re-accommodated on Carnival Sensation.

• Carnival Sunrise will move from Port Everglades to PortMiami and assume the itineraries previously operated by Carnival Sensation, providing a larger, upgraded ship for short itineraries with the many new features installed during Carnival Sunrise's $200 million transformation completed in 2019. Guests booked on the Sunrise 4- and 5-day itineraries from Port Everglades will be automatically moved to sailings from PortMiami.

• Carnival Sunrise is part of Carnival's 50th birthday celebration and there will be no changes to her birthday sailing, which is scheduled for March 5, 2022. These special sailings have been in high demand and will feature special entertainment, at-sea ship rendezvous and onboard activities and offerings. For more information on this special group of itineraries in March 2022, please visit www.carnival.com/sailabration.

• Carnival Fascination itineraries from San Juan and Barbados have been cancelled for 2020-2021 as the cruise line focuses its return to operations on mainland drive markets in the U.S.

• Itineraries for Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration from Long Beach have been cancelled through Apr. 19, 2021. Carnival Panorama will continue to operate 7-day cruises from Long Beach while Carnival Miracle will operate shorter itineraries from San Diego to Baja Mexico.

• Carnival Radiance will now move directly from Europe after its $200 million transformation and homeport in Long Beach in April of 2021, where it will assume the short Baja Mexico itineraries previously served by Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration. Guests booked on Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration after April 22, 2021 will be re-accommodated on Carnival Radiance, where they will experience the host of upgrades and new features including Shaq's Big Chicken Restaurant and an expanded waterpark popular with families sailing with children.

• Separately, Carnival also notified its Australian guests that it has extended its pause of operations in that country, and has cancelled six cruises scheduled to operate between Sept. 25 and Oct. 29, 2020.

"We have used this pause in operations to think carefully about our fleet and to build a plan that gives our guests new choices and upgrades to current ship offerings," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "We have a great variety of ships across the Carnival Cruise Line fleet and we are thrilled to have been able to confirm a delivery date ahead of what we had anticipated for our second Excel ship, which is exciting news for guests interested in sailing from PortMiami on the sister ship to Mardi Gras! At the same time, we will continue to invest in the four remaining Fantasy class ships that we are keeping in the fleet. We have many guests who prefer our Fantasy class ships which work so well for shorter itineraries from smaller ports that cannot accommodate our larger ships. With a fleet that gives guests lots of choices in ships, homeports, destinations and features including a multitude of dining, entertainment and accommodation choices, we are very excited about the future for Carnival Cruise Line."

Guests and travel agents are being notified directly about impacted sailings, guest re-accommodations and cancellations. Duffy thanked guests and travel agent partners alike for their continued patience, loyalty and support during this unprecedented time for the cruise industry. "With our future fleet plan resolved, we are focused on ensuring we are ready to return to operations once it is determined that the time is right to resume cruising in the U.S.," she said.

Princess Cruises Extends Pause of Select Global Ship Operations Until December 15
Due to the continued progression of COVID-19 and related decisions of various government, health authorities, and airlines regarding travel restrictions, Princess Cruises is extending its pause in cruise operations impacting the following voyages:

All cruises sailing in and out of Australia on Majestic Princess, Regal Princess, Sapphire Princess, Sea Princess, and Sun Princess through October 31, 2020

All sailings in Asia, Caribbean, California Coast, Hawaii, Mexico, Panama Canal, South America & Antarctica, Japan, and Tahiti/South Pacific through December 15, 2020 "We share in our guests' disappointment in cancelling these cruises," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "We look forward to the days when we can return to travel and the happiness it brings to all who cruise."

Guests currently booked on these cancelled voyages who have paid Princess in full will have the option to receive a refundable Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 25% of the cruise fare.

For guests who have not paid in full, Princess will Double the Deposit, providing a refundable FCC for the money currently on deposit plus a matching bonus FCC that can be used on any voyage through May 1, 2022. The matching bonus FCC is non-refundable, will not exceed the base cruise fare amount of the currently booked cruise, and will have a minimum value of $100 per person.

To receive the above FCCs, no action is required by the guest or their travel advisor. Alternatively, guests can request a full refund for all monies paid on their booking through this online form. Requests must be received by August 31, 2020 or guests will be registered for the Future Cruise Credit option.

Princess will protect travel advisor commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full in recognition of the critical role they play in the cruise line's business and success.

P&O Cruises today announced it was extending its rolling pause in operations across Australia and New Zealand to October 29, 2020 in response to the current impact of the global pandemic on the way we travel and holiday.

P&O Cruises President Sture Myrmell said while everyone hoped sailings would resume soon, it had become increasingly clear that more time was needed for society to reinstate many modes of travel and community gatherings.

"The path to society reopening fully is continuing to evolve – and cruising will return when science and public health align and people again feel comfortable to meet. With this in mind, we have reviewed the current end date of our pause in cruise operations," Mr Myrmell said.

"We will continue to use this time to liaise with authorities, public health experts and others in the industry to develop enhanced public health measures for when the time is right to resume sailing.

"This is by far the most challenging time the travel sector has ever experienced. However, like so many of our loyal guests and partners, we look forward to better times ahead when we can cruise again. We thank everyone for their unswerving loyalty, patience and goodwill."

The latest changes in operations are:

Australia

In Australia, P&O Cruises will extend its pause in operations to October 29, 2020 (inclusive) – an extra 42 days to what had previously been announced.

It will affect the following cruises:

Pacific Explorer: X040, X041, X042, X043, X044N, X045N, X045P and X046

Pacific Dawn: W047, W048, W049, W050, W051, W052 and W053

Pacific Aria: A048, A049, A050, and A051

New Zealand

In New Zealand, P&O Cruises will return for its next season of sailings departing from Auckland in 2021. Additional cruises affected by this new pause are:

Pacific Aria: A042, A043, A044, A045, A046, and A047

Other cruises

As a result of the extended pause in operations and international travel restrictions, P&O will cancel Pacific Adventure's inaugural 18-night cruise (V059) from Singapore to Sydney.

Compensation for cancelled cruises from July 23, 2020

P&O will make direct contact with guests whose cruises have been affected to let them know of this development and to apologise for the disruption. All guests are entitled to a full refund or bonus onboard credit if they choose a future cruise credit. P&O will pay refunds back to travel agents for guests who booked through that channel.

P&O will protect travel agent commissions on all bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full and for the total amount of the future cruise credits.

Guests with bookings affected by the pause in operations, can track the progress of their future cruise credit or refund request via a new tracking tool found on P&O's website.

P&O Cruises Extends Pause in Operations in Australia and New Zealand
Royal Caribbean Group Names New Public Health and Chief Medical Officer
Royal Caribbean Group has named Dr. Calvin Johnson as Global Head, Public Health and Chief Medical Officer. In this new role, Johnson will lead the Group's global health and wellness policy, manage its public health and clinical practice, and determine the strategic plans and operations of its global healthcare organization. Johnson will also collaborate with the Healthy Sail Panel to ensure the company establishes and implements its protocols and recommendations.

"Calvin's extensive experience in public health and clinical care will help us raise the bar on protecting the health of our guests, crew and the communities we serve," said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. "Calvin will also work closely with the newly announced Healthy Sail Panel to ensure we establish and implement leading health protocols and procedures."

Dr. Johnson has a strong background in protecting public health through service delivery innovation, policy development and analysis, and leadership training and development. He has successfully led significant response efforts during active infectious disease outbreaks and was responsible for ensuring all aspects of patient care while overseeing a clinical operation with 1,300 caregivers and more than 300,000 individuals.

"Royal Caribbean Group is committed to going beyond requirements to truly innovative solutions," said Johnson. "I am excited to join the industry leader, who is clearly establishing the way forward in managing public health initiatives and protecting health and safety. The Healthy Sail Panel is doing critical work to help us develop enhanced standards, and achieve readiness for the return to service, and I am looking forward to being involved in that work."

"Calvin will add critical expertise in our mission to elevate the quality of care," said Jennifer Love, Royal Caribbean Group Senior Vice President, Safety, Security, Environment, Medical & Public Health. "His appointment is testament to our commitment to transforming healthcare for those we serve."

Dr. Johnson, most recently Principal at Altre Strategic Solutions Group, is the former Chief Medical Officer for Corizon Health, then the largest provider of correctional health care in the United States, and for Temple University Health System. He served as Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from 2003-2008 and was Medical Director for the New York City Department of Health from 1998-1999. He earned his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a BS in Chemistry from Morehouse College.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 13.75 - 8.33%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 49.30 - 5.92%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.495 - 11.61%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 13.38 - 10.14%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What is the largest twin-screw ocean liner ever built?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which ocean liner had the first on-board movie theater/cinema?

Answer - The first theater/Cinema at sea was aboard the French Lines Normandie of 1935.
courtesy of David Bursin, Los Angeles


Cruise News - Juy 20, 2020

Amsterdam, Maasdam, Rotterdam and Veendam to Leave the Holland America Line Fleet in 2020
Holland America Line announced that Amsterdam, Maasdam, Rotterdam and Veendam will be leaving the fleet and transferring to undisclosed buyers. The ships have been sold in pairs, with the S-Class Maasdam and Veendam transferring to one company in August 2020, while the R-Class Amsterdam and Rotterdam will move to another company in fall 2020.

Holland America Line will cancel cruises for the four ships' deployments, with some select itineraries being assumed by other ships in the fleet. The 2021 Grand World Voyage aboard Amsterdam will be postponed until 2022 and will now sail aboard Zaandam. The Grand Africa Voyage departing Oct. 10, 2021, aboard Rotterdam will also sail aboard Zaandam on the same dates.

"It's always difficult to see any ship leave the fleet, especially those that have a long and storied history with our company," said Stein Kruse, chief executive officer of Holland America Group and Carnival UK. "However, Holland America Line has a bright future ahead that includes recent Pinnacle-Class additions, with a third sister ship next year that will continue to maintain our overall capacity in the marketplace."

"I recognize and appreciate the deep affection our guests have toward our company and the ships in our fleet," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "While streamlined, our diverse fleet continues to offer exceptional options for cruisers looking for a mid-sized ship experience to destinations all around the world. I look forward to carrying on those beloved shipboard offerings while cultivating new ideas to bring to our guests."

Maasdam joined the fleet in 1993 as the second of four S-Class ships. Carrying 1,258 guests, it is the fourth Holland America Line ship to bear the Maasdam name. Most recently, the 55,575-ton ship sailed longer South Pacific and Alaska voyages. Veendam, the final S-Class ship, was delivered in 1996. The fourth Holland America Line ship to bear the name Veendam, the 57,092-ton vessel carries 1,350 guests.

The first ship in the R Class, 61,849-ton Rotterdam was introduced in 1997. Carrying 1,404 guests, it is the sixth Holland America Line ship to be named Rotterdam. Amsterdam joined the fleet in 2000 as the final of four R-Class ships. Carrying 1,380 guests, it is the third Holland America Line ship to be named Amsterdam. Most recently, the 62,735-ton ship operated the line's Grand World Voyage.

Guests with bookings on future sailings of these ships will be notified that these cruises will be cancelled or changed. Along with their travel advisors, guests will receive information if the cruise will operate with a different ship or information and special offers on how to book another Holland America Line cruise when operations resume. Guests who prefer a refund will be accommodated.

Cancelled cruises will include scheduled Canada/New England and Grand Voyages on Amsterdam; Mexico, South Pacific, Australia and Asia itineraries on Maasdam; Caribbean, Europe, Panama Canal, South America and Hawaii sailings on Rotterdam; and Caribbean and Europe itineraries on Veendam.

CDC No Sail Order Pushes Bahamas Paradise Retart To October
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line today announced an extended delay to the resumption of its sailing operations.

“As you know, we recently announced that we would finally return to sea this August – offering travelers the chance to enjoy a much-needed, two-night getaway to paradise. However, given the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) extension of its No Sail Order, we have no choice but to delay our resumption of cruise operations to October 1st, 2020," said Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line CEO Oneil Khosa.

"Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have remained one of the few cruise lines that reported no cases of the virus onboard our ships. We have also followed all required guidelines, including adhering to strict requirements for our onboard crew members, and installed the best safety protocols in the industry across our fleet to protect our guests and crew, who are always our top priority. In addition, we remain the only cruise line in the country to receive “green status” from the CDC on our No Sail Response plan, meaning we have met their requirements in providing a safe environment for our crew members to work and disembark via commercial travel. This was also recognized in the CDC’s own statement.

"While we are disappointed that we are not able to sail as planned, we will of course continue to work side by side with the CDC and have therefore suspended all future sailings until October 1st. We are also aware of the recent announcement from Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Munnis regarding the travel ban on travelers from the U.S., and we are prepared to make necessary changes to our sailing schedule, as needed. Until then, we will continue our preparations to return to Grand Bahama Island while keeping a close eye on the overall landscape. We look forward to welcoming guests back onboard and appreciate everyone’s patience throughout this process.”

Swan Hellenic to Return to Cruising Next Year
Seventy years on from Swan Hellenic’s beginnings, the British-born expedition cruise line is back. A new consortium has purchased the brand from G Adventures, which acquired the rights when the company went bust in 2017.

Two state-of-the-art expedition ships are being built in Helsinki Shipyard Oy, Finland aimed at providing 152 guests an elegant, intimate and personal onboard experience. Each will also house 120 staff.

The first ship will set sail for Antarctica in November next year, with the second gracing the water in April 2022.

Andrea Zito, Swan Hellenic chief executive, said: “I am proud to announce the rebirth of Swan Hellenic a pioneering iconic travel brand with the mission to be the leader in cultural expedition cruising. The new Swan Hellenic retains its British heritage whilst being international in outlook. Aimed at the traveller, who wishes to explore, experience and enrich whilst the infinite beauty of the world and its inhabitants in a safe and sustainable way”.

Swan Hellenic – which will be headquartered in Monaco – said it was looking to building relationships with the trade, with interested parties invited to register here.

Zito added: “Swan Hellenic was always a family brand and we want to continue along the same line by inviting all cruise industry partners to become part of the new Swan Hellenic community”.

The company will also have offered in the UK and Germany.

The senior management team has more than 100 years of cruise industry experience led in the UK by John Warner (GAdventures/Trailfinders) and Mario Bounas (Royal Caribbean/The Langham), Alfredo Spadon in Germany (Silversea/MSC) and Andrea Zito in the Monaco headquarters (Silversea/Vships).

Mardi Gras Construction Progressing at Finland’s Meyer Turku Shipyard
As revealed by photos released today, construction on Carnival Cruise Line’s new Mardi Gras is progressing at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, as the ship is being readied for its scheduled February 2021 debut.

Workers have installed nearly 800 feet of suspended track for BOLT, the first rollercoaster at sea, that will encircle upper decks and offer guests an exhilarating ride with dips and drops with breathtaking ocean views 187 feet above the water line.

All of the ship’s more than 2,600 staterooms, including 180 suites across 11 different categories, have been installed as well, with interior outfitters putting the finishing touches on these unique accommodations.

Mardi Gras’ six themed zones are also taking shape. These unique areas will include dining, beverage and entertainment options, including restaurants from Emeril Lagasse, Guy Fieri and Shaquille O’Neal.

Encompassing 21 decks, Mardi Gras will offer a groundbreaking new layout highlighted by Grand Central, a massive atrium with three-deck-high windows overlooking the sea.

Mardi Gras is scheduled to enter service Feb. 6, 2021, from Port Canaveral’s new Terminal 3 which has been specifically constructed to accommodate Mardi Gras and its LNG propulsion system. Itineraries through April 2023 are open for sale at carnival.com, 1-800-CARNIVAL, or travel agents worldwide.

Viking Announces 2021-2022 World Cruise
Viking today announced its new 2021-2022 Viking World Cruise, which will span 136 days, 27 countries and 56 ports, with overnight stays in 11 iconic cities. Setting sail on December 24, 2021, from Fort Lauderdale, the itinerary will include three new ports of call for Viking, including Phillip Island and Eden, Australia, as well as Yangon, Myanmar.

Sailing on Viking's award-winning 930-guest Viking Star, the epic voyage will explore ports of call in Central America; transit through the Panama Canal; journey up the West Coast of North America before crossing the Pacific Ocean and calling upon Hawaii; traverse New Zealand and Australia; and sail through Asia, the Middle East and the Mediterranean before concluding in London. Guests may also choose a shorter, 119-day portion of the sailing, 2022 Viking World Horizons, which departs from Los Angeles on January 10, 2022 and visits 22 countries and 49 ports before ending in London. All Viking World Cruise guests will also receive the complimentary option to remain on board for three additional days and disembark in the ship's home port of Bergen, Norway.

"For more than 20 years, we have been committed to providing our guests with immersive and culturally enriching experiences while traveling the world in comfort," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "This has been an unusual year for all travelers, but we remain focused on the future and are pleased to offer our guests a new destination-focused World Cruise that allows for extensive exploration in 2021-2022."

2021-2022 Viking World Cruise Highlights

The newest Viking World Cruise itinerary visits iconic cities and ports of call in one seamless itinerary. Overnight stays in 11 iconic cities allow guests to explore further in Yangon, Myanmar; Auckland, New Zealand; Singapore, Singapore; Mumbai, India; Luxor, Egypt; Haifa, Israel; and Istanbul, Turkey. While on board, Viking offers cultural enrichment through onboard lectures and entertainment, such as Viking's Resident Historian program, which provides guests with a high-level historical and cultural education specific to their journey. Highlights of the new 2021-2022 Viking World Cruise itinerary include:

• Phillip Island, Australia (NEW Viking Port): Guests will enjoy some of Australia's most dramatic scenery and diverse wildlife including the island's famed Little Penguins. At sunset each evening on Summerland Beach, the Little Penguins return to shore and guests can watch them waddle in procession safely from elevated viewing points.

• Eden, Australia (NEW Viking Port): Set in Twofold Bay, the town of Eden was once home to Australia's whaling industry. Guests will explore today's Eden and the Sapphire Coast, which is now famed for its conservation efforts protecting the whale population.

• Yangon, Myanmar (NEW Viking Port): Guests will experience three days in Yangon, Myanmar, which was once the British colony known as Burma. In Myanmar's largest city, guests may visit the Shwedagon Paya, a golden monument and one of Buddhism's most sacred sites, explore the colonial architecture or take in the beautiful scenery. From magnificent temples, the floating villages of Inle Lake and the royal city of Mandalay, there are activities for everyone during this port of call.

• Oahu (Honolulu), Hawaii: Guests can enjoy everything from historic landmarks to world-class shopping on the island of Oahu. Soak up the sun along Waikiki Beach's pristine beaches or visit Pearl Harbor to see where the tragic events of December 7, 1941 unfolded.

• Komodo Island, Indonesia: Guests will enjoy a day ashore visiting Komodo National Park and the Tamarind Woods, home to the famed Komodo dragon. Beyond wildlife viewing, guests will have an opportunity to explore and play at Pink Beach, so called for the rose-hued coral sand.

• London (Tilbury), England: Guests will end their sailing in the allowing easy access to the regal capital's iconic sights, including the Tower of London, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and St. Paul's Cathedral.

Viking Star

Today's announcement follows the recent news that Viking was voted a #1 Ocean Cruise Line for the fifth consecutive year by Travel + Leisure readers. Viking Star is part of the award-winning fleet of sister ships, which also includes Viking Sea, Viking Sky, Viking Sun, Viking Orion and Viking Jupiter, each with 465 staterooms that can host 930 guests. The company's seventh 930-guest ocean ship Viking Venus is scheduled to debut in early 2021. Viking's ocean fleet features modern Scandinavian design with elegant touches, intimate spaces and attention to detail. Highlights include:

• All Veranda Staterooms: Guests can choose from five stateroom categories, starting from 270 sq. ft. Veranda Staterooms, all with private verandas, sweeping views of the destination and premium amenities that include king-size beds with luxury linens, generously proportioned closets, large interactive flat-screen LCD TVs with movies-on-demand, free Wi-Fi and award-winning bathrooms with large showers, premium Freyja bath products and heated floors.

• Explorer Suites: The ships feature 14 Explorer Suites, which are two-room suites ranging from 757 to 1,163 sq. ft. With expansive views from wraparound private verandas, as well as the most amenities and privileges of any category on board, Explorer Suites offer the ultimate sanctuary for World Cruise guests.

• Two Pool Choices: In addition to the Main Pool with a retractable roof permitting any-season swimming, the ships feature a first-of-its-kind glass-backed Infinity Pool cantilevered off the stern, allowing guests to swim surrounded by their destination.

• LivNordic Spa: In keeping with Viking's Nordic heritage, The Spa on board is designed with the holistic wellness philosophy of Scandinavia in mind—from the centuries-old tradition of the sauna to a Snow Grotto where snowflakes gently descend from the ceiling through chilled air. Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 named it one of the "5 best cruise ship spas."

• Explorers' Lounge and Mamsen's: Share a cocktail with friends. Linger over a Norwegian breakfast and a nautical history book. The Explorers' Lounge and Mamsen's gourmet deli are thoughtful spaces located at the bow of the ship and designed to represent the Scandinavian spirit for complete relaxation and for marveling at sweeping views through double-height windows.

• The Wintergarden: Guests looking for serenity will find it in the Wintergarden. In this elegant space under a canopy of Scandinavian trellised wood, guests can indulge in afternoon tea service.

• Dining Choices: Viking's ships offer eight dining options, all with no additional charge or fee—from fine dining in The Restaurant, which serves three full meals and a variety of culinary options, and the World Café, which features international fare and regional specialties including a sushi and seafood cold bar—to intimate alternative dining experiences at The Chef's Table, which offers a multi-course tasting menu with wine pairings, and Manfredi's, which features freshly prepared pastas and Italian favorites. The Pool Grill specializes in gourmet burgers, while afternoon tea and scones are available in the Wintergarden. Mamsen's serves Norwegian deli-style fare, and complimentary 24-hour room service allows all guests to enjoy many signature dishes in the comfort of their stateroom. Furthermore, with multiple choices for outdoor seating during meals, Viking's ocean ships offer the most al fresco dining at sea. Additionally, The Kitchen Table specializes in regional dishes from market to table.

• Cultural Enrichment: Viking experiences from ship to shore are designed for unparalleled access and cultural enrichment. Viking Resident Historians deliver high-level historical and cultural education specific to the journey, offering invaluable insight into the rich history of the destination. Guest Lecturers who are experts in their fields shed light on the destination's art, architecture, music, geopolitics, natural world and more. Destination Performances represent the most iconic cultural performing arts of the region—whether it be Italian opera or Portuguese fado. Resident Classical Musicians—pianists, guitarists, violinists and flautists—perform classical compositions throughout the ships. And Culinary Classes in The Kitchen Table, Viking's onboard cooking school, focus on regional cuisine.

• Nordic Inspiration: Even the smallest details take their inspiration from the exploratory spirit of the original Vikings, reflecting deeply held Nordic traditions. Light wood grains, touches of slate and teak, Swedish limestone and fragrant juniper appear throughout the public spaces and Spa. The Clinker-built design of the Viking Bar mirrors the construction style of the original Viking Longships. A Viking Heritage Center provides history and context from the Viking Age. And characters from Norse Mythology are subtly incorporated into the design, providing curious guests with inspiration to further explore Viking's Nordic heritage. Sustainable Features: Designed to be environmentally friendly, Viking's ships feature energy-efficient hybrid engines, hydro-dynamically optimized streamlined hull and bow for maximum fuel efficiency and equipment that reduces exhaust pollution and meets the strictest worldwide environmental regulations.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 15.00 - 1.83%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 52.40 + 5.77%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.56 - 3.45%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 14.89 - 4.55%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which ocean liner had the first on-board movie theater/cinema?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What Holland America ship was nicknamed "Funneldam"?

Answer - the Potsdam of 1900 got the nick name Funneldam due to her tall funnel. The ship was sold in 1915 to the Swedish America Line and renamed Stockholm.
courtesy of liberte50@t-online.de


Cruise News - Juy 13, 2020

Windstar Cruises Will Retrofit Fleet with HEPA filters and UV-C Light Before Resuming Service In September
To address health concerns brought on by the pandemic, Windstar Cruises has committed to a holistic Beyond Ordinary Care program and will retrofit its fleet of six yachts with hospital-grade HEPA filters, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation and will employ a safe sanitization formula used in health care settings. A new partnership with the epidemiology department at the University of Colorado's Anschutz Medical Center provides ongoing guidance.

"We are taking extensive measures and making multi-million-dollar investments to operate our yachts more safely in this new environment," said Windstar Cruises CEO Andrew Todd. "Building upon Windstar's 180 degrees from ordinary service, the Beyond Ordinary Care program implements a layered system of science-led best practices aimed at keeping everyone aboard healthy."

For additional guidance on combatting illnesses, Windstar connected with the epidemiology department at the University of Colorado's Anschutz Medical Center, known for its work and expertise in infectious disease epidemiology. The collaboration aims to implement appropriate layers of protection to create a safe experience for guests on Windstar's yachts.

"Windstar's holistic approach has multiple layers of safety at hospital grade standards, and when combined with responsible hygiene practices from guests, it's the safest environment achievable with tech and science as we know it today," said Dr. Michelle Barron, Medical Director of Infection Prevention at University of Colorado Hospital and Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, at University of Colorado's Anschutz Medical Center. "When you're sailing on a Windstar yacht, your biggest worry should be how to avoid a sunburn, not getting COVID-19."

Windstar is making significant investments and major operational adjustments to meet the requirements of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and global governmental and public health guidance. Enhanced cleaning protocols on board include crew dedicated to frequent cleaning with special attention to high touch points and public areas. Going further, the Beyond Ordinary Care program employs proven technology and the highest-standard cleaning methods in combination with each other, as follows:

1. Install high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters to filter the air on board Current CDC Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Healthcare Facilities recommend HEPA filtration for recirculated air from patient isolation rooms in hospitals. These filters are being installed in the HVAC systems on all Windstar yachts.

2. Add yet another layer to sanitize/disinfect the HEPA-filtered air with UV-C light for germicidal irradiation Once air has moved through the HEPA filtration system, there is an opportunity to "zap" the air with UV-C light (also called germicidal irradiation) before the air recirculates on the ship. When air passes the UV-C light, microbes such as bacteria and viruses not trapped in the HEPA filter will be destroyed. Germicidal irradiation is a solution that has been proven to kill coronaviruses.

3. Use EvaClean with PurTab for disinfecting surfaces via sprayers In addition to an elevated frequency of cleaning, sanitizing provides another layer of safety. This EPA-approved powerful sanitizer utilizes a safe and effective formula for disinfecting all types of hard and soft surfaces throughout the ship including guest rooms, crew spaces, and all public spaces. It has been used for everything from lower-level sanitization required for food-contact surfaces to powerful infection control used in health care settings. CEO Todd stressed that the cruise line, working with health experts and following the guidelines of the CDC, has carefully chosen cleaning and sanitation methods that have been shown to be effective against coronaviruses, as well as many other illness-causing microorganisms. These systems, in combination with an abundance of other prevention and mitigation steps, and diligence on behalf of guests, give Todd and Windstar Cruises confidence to sail the Windstar fleet in this challenging environment.

"Windstar operates small yachts that visit ports and waterways that large cruise ships simply can't access," said Todd. "There are major advantages to smaller ships besides less tonnage and passengers. Let's face it, cleaning and purifying a 342-passenger ship is logistically easier than a 5,000 passenger 'city at sea.'"

As part of the multi-layered approach, new pre-trip protocols for guests include a pre-departure questionnaire, and a request to wear masks when traveling to and from the ships. Each guest will receive a health screening prior to embarkation. Staggered arrival and departure times at check-in and disembarkation in ports will reinforce proper social distancing between guests.

Once on board, guests will find personalized service by dining staff in all venues, expanded dining times and seating arranged to provide more space between diners. The popular outdoor, top-deck BBQ will still be held with crew on hand to serve guests. Additional al fresco restaurants and complimentary room service (main restaurant dinner menu available via room service) increase dining options for all. Main dining venues will operate at 65 percent capacity, while specialty venues will operate at 60 percent. Crew, who will also be COVID-19 (PCR) tested before joining their assignment, will wear masks and instead of the usual embrace or handshake, look for the new "Windstar Wave" hand signal - a W made with one's index fingers and thumbs. Temperature measurements will be required twice daily for crew.

Safety standards established on board will carry over to shore-side experiences. Tenders, motor coaches and smaller boats will operate at 50 percent capacity and will be cleaned between each use. Windstar will also expand medical staff on board, as well as increase crew training in cleaning practices, social distancing, and emergency response protocols. As more becomes known about the COVID-19 virus, Windstar's policies will evolve. Information will be shared with crew and training ongoing.

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line To Resume Operations August 28th
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line today announced an extended delay to the resumption of its sailing operations. The official statement, delivered by Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line CEO Oneil Khosa, is as follows:

“Upon announcing that we would resume cruising in late July, we were thrilled to see a great deal of demand, demonstrating that there is a strong appetite amongst travelers for our unique short-cruise ‘microcation’ product. At this time, we remain the only cruise line in the country to have received a “green status” from the CDC on our No Sail Response plan, meaning we have met all requirements in providing a safe environment for our crew members to work and disembark via non-commercial travel.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve continued preparations to return to Grand Bahama Island while keeping an eye on the overall landscape, which continues to evolve. In recent days, amidst a spike in COVID-19 cases in many states across the country, we’ve seen mounting pressures to modify reopening plans and consideration of the return of stay-at-home orders. Additionally, new restrictions from the Bahamas have been announced, requiring travelers to present a negative swab test prior to entry. In an effort to provide the safest environment for our passengers and crew, we have no choice but to further postpone our sailing schedule.

Our current plan is to resume cruises on August 28th, 2020. This is incredibly disappointing to our entire team, but the decision was made after very careful consideration of all factors, and we believe this is in everyone’s best interest. We look forward to welcoming guests back onboard and appreciate everyone’s patience throughout this process.”

Carnival Corporation & plc Provides A Business Update
Carnival Corporation & plc this week provided a business update and additional financial information for the second quarter ended May 31, 2020.

Business Update

In the face of the global impact of COVID-19, Carnival said that it paused its guest cruise operations in mid-March. Carnival said that it expects to resume guest operations, with ongoing collaboration from both government and health authorities, in a phased manner. Specific brands and ships are expected to return to service over time to provide guests with unmatched joyful vacations in a manner consistent with the company's highest priorities, which are compliance, environmental protection and the health, safety and well-being of its guests, crew and the communities its ships visit.

AIDA to resume cruise operations

AIDA previously announced it will resume guest cruise operations from ports in Germany beginning August 2020 with three of its ships, making it the first of the company's nine cruise brands to resume guest cruise operations. AIDA will introduce additional safety and protective measures which will include pre-boarding health questionnaires and temperature checks for both guests and crew, physical distancing guidelines, routing systems on arrival, departure and onboard, increased mitigation and sanitation efforts in all cabins and public areas, as well as closely managing capacities at onboard experiences. These enhanced measures have been developed with advice from medical experts and align with the current guidance from the World Health Organization ("WHO") and the German Robert Koch Institute ("RKI"), as well as other governmental and health authorities.

Capacity reduced by ship delivery deferrals and 13 expected ship dispositions

Carnival said that it expects future capacity to be moderated by the phased re-entry of its ships, the removal of capacity from its fleet and delays in new ship deliveries. As previously announced, Carnival said that it intends to accelerate the removal of ships in fiscal 2020 which were previously expected to be sold over the ensuing years. Carnival said that it sold one ship during June 2020 and has agreements for the disposal of five ships and preliminary agreements for an additional three ships, all of which are expected to leave the fleet in the next 90 days. These agreements are in addition to the sale of four ships, which were announced prior to fiscal 2020. In total, the 13 ships expected to leave the fleet represent a nearly nine percent reduction in current capacity. Carnival said that it currently expects only five of the nine ships originally scheduled for delivery in fiscal 2020 and fiscal 2021 will be delivered prior to the end of fiscal year 2021. In addition, Carnival said that it expects later deliveries of ships originally scheduled for fiscal 2022 and 2023.

Carnival Corporation & plc President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald noted, "We have been transitioning the fleet into a prolonged pause and right sizing our shoreside operations. We have already reduced operating costs by over $7 billion on an annualized basis and reduced capital expenditures also by more than $5 billion over the next 18 months. We have secured over $10 billion of additional liquidity to sustain another full year with additional flexibility remaining. We have aggressively shed assets while actively deferring new ship deliveries. We are working hard to resume operations while serving the best interests of public health with our way forward informed through consultation with medical experts and scientists from around the world."

Donald added, "We will emerge a leaner, more efficient company to optimize cash generation, pay down debt and position us to return to investment grade credit over time providing strong returns to our shareholders."

Maximizing Liquidity

Successfully raised over $10 billion through a series of financing transactions

Since the pause in guest operations, Carnival said that it has taken significant actions to preserve cash and secure additional financing to maximize its liquidity. While maintaining compliance, environmental protection and safety, Carnival said that it significantly reduced ship operating expenses by transitioning ships into paused status. Carnival said that it also reduced its administrative expenses, non-newbuild capital expenditures by $1.3 billion for 2020 and expects to reduce its newbuild capital expenditures by over $600 million for 2020, (net of export credit facilities). Additionally, since March, Carnival said that it has raised over $10 billion through a series of financing transactions, including transactions that have occurred in the last three weeks, as follows:

Borrowed an aggregate principal amount of $2.8 billion in two tranches under a first priority senior secured term loan facility on June 30, 2020 Negotiated Debt Holiday amendments, deferring certain principal repayments otherwise due through March 2021. (Certain export credit agencies have offered a 12-month debt amortization and financial covenant holiday ("Debt Holiday"))

In addition, Carnival said that it has $8.8 billion of committed export credit facilities that are available to fund ship deliveries originally planned through 2023.

Carnival Corporation & plc Chief Financial Officer and Chief Accounting Officer David Bernstein noted, "Quickly recognizing the financial situation, we took swift action to improve our liquidity by reducing expenses and leveraging our strong balance sheet to complete several capital transactions".

During the pause in guest operations, the monthly average cash burn rate for the second half of 2020 is estimated to be approximately $650 million. This rate includes approximately $250 million of ongoing ship operating and administrative expenses, working capital changes (excluding changes in customer deposits and reserves for credit card processors), interest expense and committed capital expenditures (net of committed export credit facilities) and also excludes scheduled debt maturities. Carnival said that it continues to explore opportunities to further reduce its monthly cash burn rate.

The pause in guest operations is continuing to have material negative impacts on all aspects of the company's business. The longer the full or partial pause in guest operations continues, the greater the impact on the company's liquidity and financial position. Carnival said that it continues to expect a net loss on both a U.S. GAAP and adjusted basis for the second half of 2020.

Update on Bookings

Demand continues for 2021 sailings

The company's brands have announced various incentives and flexibility for certain booking payments on select sailings to support guest confidence in making new bookings. These incentives vary by brand and sailing and include onboard credits and reduced or refundable deposits. In addition, Carnival said that it is providing flexibility to guests with bookings on sailings cancelled due to the pause by offering guests the flexibility of enhanced future cruise credits ("FCC") or an election for a refund in cash. Enhanced FCCs increase the value of the guest's original booking or provide incremental onboard credits. As of June 21, 2020, approximately half of guests affected have requested cash refunds. Despite substantially reduced marketing and selling spend, Carnival said that it continues to see demand from new bookings for 2021. For the most recent booking period, the first three weeks in June 2020, almost 60 percent of 2021 bookings were new bookings. The remaining 2021 booking volumes resulted from guests applying their FCCs to specific future cruises.

As of June 21, 2020, cumulative advanced bookings for the full year of 2021 capacity currently available for sale remain within historical ranges at prices that are down in the low to mid-single digits range, on a comparable basis, including the negative yield impact of FCCs and onboard credits applied.

As of May 31, 2020, the current portion of customer deposits was $2.6 billion, the majority of which are FCCs. $121 million of the company's customer deposit balance relates to third quarter sailings and $353 million relates to fourth quarter sailings. Carnival said that it continues to expect any decline in the customer deposits balance in the second half of 2020, all of which is expected to occur in the third quarter, to be significantly less than the decline in the second quarter of 2020.

Protecting the Health and Safety of Guests and Team Members

Throughout the pause in its guest cruise operations, Carnival said that it has acted to protect the health and safety of guests and shipboard team members. Carnival said that it returned over 260,000 guests to their homes, coordinating with a large number of countries around the globe. In addition, Carnival said that it worked around the clock with various local governmental authorities, utilized its ships and chartered hundreds of planes to repatriate shipboard team members as quickly as possible. Carnival said that it is extremely pleased with its ability to successfully repatriate approximately 77,000 of its shipboard team members to more than 130 countries around the globe, which is substantially all of its onboard workforce other than the safe manning team members who will remain on the ships, and thanks the numerous governments who worked closely with the company during the repatriation process.

Donald commented, "I could not be more proud of how collectively our team has handled this. We looked after our guests, each other and the over 700 places we go each year. Thanks to our crew for continuing to exceed guest expectations through challenging circumstances and our shoreside operations for working 24/7 to enhance our liquidity and to repatriate our guests and our crew. Also, thanks to our loyal guests, travel partners, shareholders and other stakeholders for their support during this challenging time."

Active consultation with science and medical experts

Throughout the pause in guest cruise operations, the company has been consulting and assembling the best minds in medical science, public health and infectious disease. These individuals include a robust line-up of world renowned medical, epidemiology and public health experts to provide the company with the latest science and medical evidence to inform practical, adaptable and science-based solutions for detection, prevention and mitigation of COVID-19.

In coordination with the World Travel and Tourism Council, Carnival said that it is hosting an online Global Scientific Summit on COVID-19 on July 28, a forum which is open to the public and free of charge. Speakers and panelists include the company's expert advisors, representing a diverse range of science, research and business backgrounds, including amongst others, members of Scientists to Stop COVID-19, who have volunteered to participate. Carnival said that it is grateful to bring together a select group of science and medical experts who will bring such relevant insight into COVID-19.

Viking To Launch New Ship For The Mekong River
Viking today announced it will launch a new ship next summer for its popular Magnificent Mekong cruisetour. Currently under construction, the 80-guest Viking SaigonSM is scheduled to debut for the August 30, 2021, cruisetour departure; the river cruise portion of the itinerary sails between Kampong Cham, Cambodia and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam.

"For many of our guests, Vietnam and Cambodia remain top destinations because of their significance in world history," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "We have led the river cruise industry with our fleet development and experiences that bring travelers closer to the cultures of the world for more than two decades. This will be the most modern vessel on the Mekong and will feel like 'home' to our loyal Viking guests who are familiar with the comfortable design of our ships."

Purpose-built for the Mekong River, the new Viking Saigon will host 80 guests in 40 outside staterooms. Featuring the clean Scandinavian design for which Viking is known, all staterooms will have hotel-style beds and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors with a Veranda or French Balcony. Guests on the three-deck Viking Saigon will also enjoy a Spa & Fitness Center, Infinity Pool and open-air Sky Bar on the Upper Deck.

During this 15-day journey, guests explore the cultural treasures of Vietnam and Cambodia with 16 guided tours. Hotel stays in Hanoi, Siem Reap and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) bracket an eight-day Mekong River cruise on this unique cruisetour itinerary, during which guests can enjoy shopping in Old Hanoi's markets; exploring the Khmer temple complex of Angkor Wat; visiting Ta Prohm, where jungle vines embrace ancient ruins; and seeing the sights of Phnom Penh by cyclo rickshaw. On the river cruise portion of the itinerary, guests can discover silk towns, fishing villages, monasteries and floating markets. Multiple departure dates beginning in August 2021. Pricing starts at $5,299 per person, with discounted airfare from $1,199 per person.

Holland America Line Gets New President
Holland America Line announced today the appointment of Gustavo (Gus) Antorcha as president of the award-winning, premium cruise line, known for immersive, authentic shipboard and shoreside experiences. Antorcha joins the company effective immediately from sister brand Carnival Cruise Line, where he has served as chief operating officer.

“We are fortunate to welcome Gus to the Holland America Line team for a new chapter at our brand,” said Stein Kruse, Group CEO, Holland America Group and Carnival UK. “His impressive qualifications, boundless energy and passion for the cruise industry will serve us well as we prepare to resume our global operations in the next several months. These are unprecedented times, and his wisdom and competent judgement will ensure Holland America Line’s long-term success.

“I’ve worked with him often during his time at Carnival Cruise Line and know that he brings extensive experience in many disciplines within the cruise and travel business,” added Kruse. “Gus always demonstrates strategic vision, fiscal awareness and superior leadership with a keen ability to keep his eye on the end result to ensure success.”

Antorcha will lead Holland America Line’s sales and marketing, revenue management, deployment and itinerary planning, public relations, guest services operations and strategic planning. He will report to Kruse.

“When you think of longevity and success among global cruise lines today, Holland America Line is arguably among the top, with a proud history of nearly 150 years,” said Antorcha. “On each ship, the guest experience attracts cruisers back again and again with the best live music at sea, a culinary program that rivals the best land-based restaurants, and engaging talks and activities that seek to deepen each guest’s appreciation of the places they visit.

“I am eager to begin working toward our future with the dedicated and talented people that have been important in establishing the brand’s reputation as the go-to cruise line for cultural immersion,” noted Antorcha. “Likewise, I look forward to collaborating with our travel advisor community to continue supporting them and helping them build their Holland America Line business.”

Most recently, Antorcha was chief operating officer at Carnival Cruise Line where he has worked a combined nine years. He also held positions as executive vice president, guest services, responsible for onboard operations; and senior vice president, guest commerce.

Antorcha first came to Carnival in 2010 from Boston Consulting Group, a global strategy and management consulting firm, where he was a partner and managing director focused on clients in the travel and leisure industries. He graduated magna cum laude with distinction from Duke University and holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 15.28 - 2.11%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 49.54 - 0.96%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.58 + 5.45%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 15.60 - 3.29%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What Holland America ship was nicknamed "Funneldam"?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Just before the Imperator entered service in 1913, something was added to her design to ensure that she would be the longest liner in the world. What was added?

Answer - A large bronze eagle was added to make her longer than the Aquitania, the wings were later torn off the eagle during a storm while crossing the Atlantic
courtesy of Joseph Cant, Montreal, Canada


Cruise News - Juy 6, 2020

Carnival Cruise Line Sets Ship Delivery Changes
Carnival Cruise Line will be notifying guests and travel agents on Tuesday of revisions to the delivery of its newest ship, Mardi Gras, as well as the transformed Carnival Radiance – both resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic – and new itineraries for Carnival Breeze and Carnival Magic that are all part of an updated deployment plan from November 2020 to May 2021.

The key points of the changes:

• Mardi Gras, the first LNG-powered ship to operate in the Western Hemisphere and featuring the first roller coaster at sea, will now enter into service from Port Canaveral, Fla. on Feb. 6, 2021. Itineraries out of Port Canaveral for departures from Nov. 14, 2020 to Jan. 30, 2021 have been cancelled.

• Carnival Radiance's $200 million dry dock at the Cadiz, Spain shipyard was suspended this spring when the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a nationwide lockdown. Carnival is now evaluating shipyard options to complete the transformation, but the ship is likely not going to be completed until the spring.

• As a result of the delayed arrival of Carnival Radiance, Carnival Breeze will be redeployed from Fort Lauderdale to Port Canaveral and will assume the itineraries for Carnival Radiance from Nov. 8, 2020 to Apr. 24, 2021. Consequently, guests on 18 Carnival Breeze sailings from Fort Lauderdale scheduled to operate from Nov. 7, 2020 to Mar. 7, 2021 are being notified that their cruises have been cancelled.

• Carnival Magic's transatlantic and European itineraries from Mar. 13, 2021 to May 3, 2021 have been cancelled. Seven sailings previously scheduled for Carnival Breeze from Fort. Lauderdale from Mar. 13 to Apr. 24, 2021 will move to Miami and those guests will sail on the same itinerary, but on Carnival Magic operating from PortMiami.

"We continue to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global commerce, public health and our cruise operations. In addition to our current pause in service, there have been many other unintended consequences, including shipyard, dry dock and ship delivery delays, and related changes to our deployment plans for our fleet," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "While we had hoped to make up construction time on Mardi Gras over the summer, it's clear we will need extra time to complete this magnificent ship. We share our guests' disappointment and appreciate their patience as we work through this unprecedented time in our business and the lives of so many people. We remain committed to working with government, public health and industry officials to support the response to the pandemic and to return to operations when the time is right."

Guest and travel agent notifications will be emailed over the course of the day on Tuesday, July 7. Carnival expressed its appreciation for their guests' and travel agent partners' patience as it completes the notification process.

Leading Public Health Experts to Oversee Development of Enhanced Cruise Line Health and Safety Standards
Cruise companies Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. announced a collaboration to develop enhanced cruise health and safety standards in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The companies have asked Governor Mike Leavitt and Dr. Scott Gottlieb to serve as co-chairs of a newly formed group of experts called the "Healthy Sail Panel." The panel is tasked with collaboratively developing recommendations for cruise lines to advance their public health response to COVID-19, improve safety, and achieve readiness for the safe resumption of operations.

The expert panel has been working for nearly a month and will offer its initial recommendations by the end of August. The cruise lines said its work will be "open source," and could be freely adopted by any company or industry that would benefit from the group's scientific and medical insights.

"This unprecedented disease requires us to develop unprecedented standards in health and safety," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group. "Bringing aboard these respected experts to guide us forward demonstrates our commitment to protecting our guests, our crews and the communities we visit."

"We compete for the vacationing consumer's business every day, but we never compete on health and safety standards," said Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. "While the cruise industry has always had rigorous health standards, the unique challenges posed by COVID-19 provide an opportunity to raise the bar even higher."

"Health and safety are the highest priority for all CLIA cruise line members as demonstrated by this initiative on the part of two of our largest members. We commend this and parallel efforts of all of our members, large and small, who are working tirelessly to develop appropriate protocols based on input from health authorities and medical experts in the U.S. and abroad," said Kelly Craighead, president and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

Fain and Del Rio said they initiated the panel to assure the plans they will submit to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other regulators apply the best available public health, science and engineering insights. The work of the panel will be shared with the entire industry and regulators.

"In convening the Healthy Sail Panel, we sought the participation of a diverse group of leading experts in areas of science and public health that are directly relevant to the considerations listed by the No Sail Order," said Governor Leavitt. "We view our work as a profoundly important public health effort. The health and safety of passengers, crew, and the communities that cruise ships visit will be the principal focus of this project."

Dr. Gottlieb said, "We know that the public health issues that must be addressed are complex, and in some areas, tackling them will require novel approaches. Our goal in assembling this team of leading experts was to develop best practices that can improve safety and provide a roadmap for reducing the risks of COVID-19."

The panel is co-chaired by Governor Leavitt, former Secretary of the U.S. Department Health and Human Services (HHS), and Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The panel's members are globally recognized experts from various disciplines, including public health, infectious disease, biosecurity, hospitality and maritime operations.

Viking Announces Additional Sailings For New Mississippi River Cruises
Viking today announced that new 2023 sailings of its Mississippi River cruises are now on sale. The company's first custom vessel, Viking Mississippi, will debut in August 2022 and will sail voyages on the Lower and Upper Mississippi River, between New Orleans and St. Paul. Viking's first river cruises in the U.S. had been highly anticipated when they were officially announced in April 2020, and several sailings have already sold out. This strong demand has led Viking to open additional 2023 sailing dates sooner than originally expected. Also, the company today released several new renderings of Viking Mississippi.

"We are very pleased at the initial response and support we have received from guests and community partners along the Mississippi River," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "Like me, many travelers are planning ahead for when we will once again be exploring the world in comfort – to exotic destinations as well as those closer to home. We look forward to welcoming guests as we bring modern river cruising to the Mississippi River in 2022."

Viking's arrival to the Mississippi will represent a major commitment to tourism and economic development in many communities along the river, with the new cruises expected to bring more than 5,800 guests to the region in 2022 and 17,600+ during the first full sailing season in 2023. Currently scheduled ports of call on Viking's new Mississippi River cruises comprise seven U.S. states: Louisiana (Baton Rouge, Darrow, New Orleans and St. Francisville); Mississippi (Natchez and Vicksburg); Tennessee (Memphis); Missouri (Hannibal, St. Louis); Iowa (Burlington, Dubuque and Davenport); Wisconsin (La Crosse); and Minnesota (Red Wing, St. Paul).

2022-2023 Viking Mississippi Voyages

• America's Great River (15 days; New Orleans to St. Paul)—Experience nearly the entire length of the Mississippi River on this incredible journey from the Gulf of Mexico to the northernmost reaches of the U.S. Relax and enjoy the variety of scenery, foliage and wildlife on this leisurely voyage. Enjoy Southern charm and beautifully preserved homes in Natchez; retrace the steps of Civil Rights leaders in Memphis; ascend the Gateway Arch in St. Louis; and visit "The Norwegian Valley" in La Crosse. Multiple sailing dates now available in June, September and October 2023. Pricing starts at $10,999 per person, with discounted airfare from $199 per person.

• America's Heartland (8 days; St. Louis to St. Paul)—From pristine farms nestled in rolling terrain to steep bluff rising from tributaries dotted with wooded islands, the Upper Mississippi offers a rich tapestry of beauty upon every turn of the river. This journey introduces you to the unforgettable experience of the locks and dams that control the flow of the heartland rivers. Hear stories of settlers migrating west; learn about Lewis & Clark, Mark Twain, John Deere and the Amish and Norwegian migrations; experience the regional music like polka and Norwegian folk; and taste regional cuisine showcasing local beer, produce and Wisconsin cheese. Multiple sailing dates in August and September 2022; additional sailing dates now available in July, August and September 2023. Pricing starts at $4,599 per person, with discounted airfare from $199 per person.

• Heart of the Delta (8 days; New Orleans to Memphis)—This journey on the Lower Mississippi is infused with American history, culture and heritage. Tour the area where the migrating French and Acadians settled; immerse yourself in the culture and lessons from the American Civil Rights Movement; discover the music of the South—jazz, blues and gospel; and experience the life and food culture of the south, from Cajun and Creole to the famed "dry" Memphis BBQ. Multiple sailing dates in October and November 2022; additional sailing dates now available in May and June 2023. Inaugural pricing starts at $4,199 per person, with discounted airfare from $199 per person.

• Southern Celebration (8 days; New Orleans–Vicksburg–New Orleans)—On this exploration of the Lower Mississippi, visit the historic homes of Louisiana and Mississippi; learn about Civil War history, touring sites like Vicksburg National Military Park; and discover the excitement and unique flavors of New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Multiple sailing dates in November and December 2022; additional sailing dates now available in January 2023. Inaugural pricing starts at $3,699 per person, with discounted airfare from $199 per person. Viking Mississippi

Hosting 386 guests in 193 all outside staterooms, the new state-of-the-art Viking Mississippi is inspired by Viking's award-winning river and ocean ships and will feature clean Scandinavian design, as well as public spaces that are familiar to guests but that have been reimagined for Mississippi River voyages. Purpose-built for the Mississippi and currently under construction in Louisiana, the five-deck ship's cutting-edge design, expansive windows and comfortable amenities will make it the most modern cruise ship in the region. Highlights of the new ship include:

• All Outside Staterooms: Guests can choose from an unparalleled seven spacious stateroom categories that range from 268 sq. ft to 1,024 sq. ft: Veranda, French Balcony, Deluxe Veranda, Penthouse Veranda, Penthouse Jr. Suite, Terrace Suite and Explorer Suite. All staterooms feature a private veranda or French balcony, king-size bed with luxury linens, large flat-screen interactive TV, mini-bar, large glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor and 24-hour room service.

• Viking Suites: Viking Mississippi will have some of the largest true suites on the river, with every suite featuring two rooms and a full-size veranda off the spacious sitting room. Guests in Penthouse Jr. Suites (400 sq. ft.) and Terrace Suites (425 sq. ft.) receive early stateroom access; expanded double-sink bathroom; mini-bar with alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, water and snacks replenished daily; welcome champagne; and laundry, pressing and shoe shine services. Guests in the expansive Explorer Suites (657 sq. ft. to 1,024 sq. ft) also receive a wraparound veranda and complimentary Silver Spirits Beverage Package.

• Explorers' Lounge & The Bow: Familiar to Viking's ocean guests as one of the most popular onboard public spaces, Viking Mississippi will also feature an Explorers' Lounge near the bow of the ship. The sun-filled, two-story Explorers' Lounge has floor-to-ceiling windows that open to The Bow, a unique outdoor seating area at the front of the ship where guests can relax and enjoy ever-changing riverside views.

• River Café: From American classics to Mamsen's Norwegian specialties, this indoor/outdoor dining venue on the top deck will offer alternative restaurant dining in a casual al fresco setting.

• Aquavit Terrace: A public space beloved by many of Viking's ocean and river guests, Viking Mississippi will also feature a revolutionary Aquavit Terrace on the top deck, providing a casual dining space ideal for an

• American barbecue experience. Combined with the River Café, the Aquavit Terrace will provide the most al fresco dining options on the Mississippi.

• Sun Terrace with Infinity Plunge Pool: Similar to Viking's ocean ships, Viking Mississippi will have a glass-backed pool experience at the aft, allowing guests to take a dip while fully surrounded by their destination.

• The Living Room: Clean Scandinavian design paired with American influences, the Living Room on Deck 1 is designed for socializing, relaxing and entertainment. Nearby, the quiet corner of The Library, is a perfect place to discover a new book. T

• he Restaurant: This main dining venue on Deck 1 will serve daily-changing menus featuring delicious regional cuisine and always available classics prepared with fresh, local ingredients.

• Full 360-Degree Promenade Deck: Guests can stroll the entire ship outside on Deck 1, stretching their legs while viewing scenic landscape and regional wildlife.

• Enrichment On Board and On Shore: Connecting guests to their destinations through authentic experiences is central to Viking creating "the thinking person's cruise." A focus on cultural enrichment on board Viking Mississippi means that guests will enjoy Destination Performances that represent the most iconic music of the region—as well as Guest Lecturers that shed light on the region's art, architecture, history, culture, natural world and more. And only The Viking Way of exploration provides guests with itineraries that feature Privileged Access, Local Life and Working World experiences, opening doors to places otherwise difficult to visit. On Viking's Mississippi River itineraries, guests may choose to take a guided kayaking trip in the Louisiana bayou; visit a working farm in Quad Cities; or immerse themselves in Cajun culture during a Privileged Access excursion to the Rural Life Museum of Louisiana State University.

• Sustainable Features: Solar panels, LED lighting, floor-to-ceiling windows that maximize natural light and an energy-efficient hybrid propulsion system will make Viking Mississippi the most environmentally friendly passenger ship on the Mississippi River.

• Viking Inclusive Value: Every Mississippi River cruise fare includes everything guests need, with no surprises or hidden fees. Cruise fares include one complimentary shore excursion in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including beer and wine with lunch and dinner service, lectures, alternative dining at no extra charge, self-service launderettes, 24-hour room service and free Wi-Fi.

Costa Extends Pause For Its Cruises Until August 15th

Costa announced this week a further pause for all its cruises until August 15th, 2020 and the cancellation of all cruises in Northern Europe for the remainder of the 2020 summer season. The decision is linked to the uncertainty on the gradual reopening of ports to cruise ships and the restrictions that may still be in place for the movements of people due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. In addition, the Company is also communicating the cancellation of all future cruises of Costa Victoria.

Costa is taking steps to inform both travel agents and guests affected by these changes. They will be guaranteed a re-protection in accordance with the applicable legislation, which offers the highest guarantee in this contingency situation.

In the meantime, Costa is working alongside all relevant Authorities to define health protocols for a potential restart of cruises as soon as possible.

AIDA Cruises extends pause of its operation until end of August 2020
Given the gradual easing in intra-European travel, AIDA Cruises believes it will resume its cruise operation later this summer. However, the conditions for safe travel do not yet exist in many destinations worldwide.

Since it is of great importance to AIDA Cruises to ensure all guests have confidence in planning their vacations, the company today announced it has extended its pause of operations until August 31, 2020. This does not apply to individual departures from AIDAprima, AIDAperla and AIDAdiva.

AIDA Cruises is in close and constant contact with all of the relevant authorities discussing the brand's interest in restarting cruise vacations, when the time is right, under adapted conditions and in full compliance with all sanitization and hygiene standards and protocols for physical distancing.

All guests whose trip cannot take place as originally scheduled will be informed immediately. Bookings are processed chronologically according to the departure date. The company publishes all updated information on the current pause of operation at www.aida.de/reisehinweis.

AIDA very much wants guests to enjoy their long-awaited AIDA holidays at a later date. To this end, AIDA will reimburse all guests whose cruises will not take place in August 2020 for the payments previously made to AIDA in the form of a travel credit. AIDA appreciates guests for their confidence by offering them a bonus of 10% on top of the payment already made.

In order to support travel agencies in these challenging times, AIDA will pay out a liquidity advance. This is 10% of the credit value and will be transferred to the sales partner as soon as AIDA has issued the travel credit for the joint customer.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 15.61 - 6.97%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 50.02 - 0.56%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.55 + 7.84%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 16.13 - 2.60%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Just before the Imperator entered service in 1913, something was added to her design to ensure that she would be the longest liner in the world. What was added?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What unique public room architectural feature was planned and implemented on Celebrity Cruises,Mercury only to be subsequently removed prior to the ship's maiden voyage - and why?

Answer - Mercury was to have had bridge joining the two upper levels of the restaurant. After Royal Caribbean purchased Celebrity the bridge (which was already in place) was removed.
courtesy of Larry Robertson, Ft. Lauderdale, FL


Cruise News - June 29, 2020

CLIA Announces Voluntary Suspension of Cruise Operations from U.S. Ports
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) issued the following statement today to announce that the association’s ocean-going cruise line members will voluntarily extend the suspension of cruise operations from U.S. ports until 15 September 2020.

“Due to the ongoing situation within the U.S. related to COVID-19, CLIA member cruise lines have decided to voluntarily extend the period of suspended passenger operations. The current No Sail Order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will expire on 24 July, and although we had hoped that cruise activity could resume as soon as possible after that date, it is increasingly clear that more time will be needed to resolve barriers to resumption in the United States.

“Although we are confident that future cruises will be healthy and safe, and will fully reflect the latest protective measures, we also feel that it is appropriate to err on the side of caution to help ensure the best interests of our passengers and crewmembers. We have therefore decided to further extend our suspension of operations from U.S. ports until 15 September. The additional time will also allow us to consult with the CDC on measures that will be appropriate for the eventual resumption of cruise operations.

v“This voluntary suspension applies to all CLIA members to which the No Sail Order applied (vessels with capacity to carry 250 persons or more). CLIA member cruise lines will continually evaluate the evolving situation and make a determination as to whether a further extension is necessary.”

In 2018, the cruise industry supported over 421,000 jobs in the United States, with every 30 cruisers from U.S. ports supporting one American job. Each day of the suspension of cruise operations in the U.S. results in a total loss of approximately $110 million in economic activity and up to 800 American jobs.

Coin Laying Ceremony Takes Place For MSC World Europa
A maritime coin ceremony tradition took place earlier today at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France when the keel was laid for MSC Cruises’ first liquified natural gas (LNG)-powered ship, MSC World Europa.

The 200,000-plus GT ship is scheduled to enter service in 2022 and be one of most technologically- and environmentally-advanced LNG-powered cruise vessels in its class, and the first ever to be built in France.

Zoe Africa Vago — daughter of Alexa Aponte-Vago and her husband Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman — and Aurore Bezard, from the HR Department of Chantiers de I’Atlantique, performed the traditional maritime ritual as godmothers. They represented both the ship owner and the shipbuilder when they placed two coins under the ship’s keel as the historical sign of blessing and good fortune for the project and the ship’s operational life at sea.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises, said: “MSC World Europa is further proof of our commitment to environmental stewardship as she is set to reduce carbon emissions even further than many other existing cruise ships powered by LNG, which is currently the most environmentally-friendly fuel for commercial maritime operations. With this vessel, we also reconfirm our belief in investing in advanced environmental technology to meet our long-term goal of zero emissions from operations.”

Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, added: “We are proud to start the building of a ship which will set the standards for the cruise of the future. This is a major milestone in the history of our 20-year cooperation with MSC Cruises, which has already resulted in some of the most innovative cruise ships ever built.”

MSC World Europa will feature a new 50-kilowatt demonstrator system that incorporates solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology and uses LNG to produce electricity and heat on board. This is the first time an LNG-powered fuel cell has been used on a cruise ship.

This SOFC solution fueled by LNG will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) by about 30 percent compared with a conventional LNG engine, with no emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides or fine particles. It also offers the advantage of being compatible with LNG, as well as several low carbon fuels such as types of methanol, ammonia and hydrogen.

MSC World Europa will also feature a new generation wastewater treatment system that exceeds some of the world’s most stringent regulatory standards, as well other cutting-edge environmental technology.

MSC Cruises’ next flagship MSC Virtuosa is currently construction in Saint-Nazaire and preparing for delivery next year. The Company also has firm orders with Chantiers de l’Atlantique for two additional LNG-powered ships, one each for the MSC World and Meraviglia classes of ships.

Royal Caribbean Announces Odyssey of the Seas Delay

Royal Caribbean International announced this week that delivery of Odyssey of the Seas is officially delayed, and that the cruise ship will no longer be delivered as anticipated this fall.

"The impact of worldwide port and shipyard closures have created delays in the construction schedule and delivery of Odyssey of the Seas," Royal Caribbean said, in a statement. "Based on adjusted plans and timelines created in partnership with Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany, delivery of Royal Caribbean’s newest ship is now scheduled for April 2021. Odyssey of the Seas will spend her inaugural season sailing Eastern Mediterranean cruises from Rome, before arriving to the U.S. in November 2021. Originally, the ship was to debut in November 2020.

"We are working directly with our guests and travel partners to address this disruption to their vacations. We are genuinely sorry for their inconvenience and disappointment."

Seabourn Announces New President
Seabourn announced today that Josh Leibowitz has been named president, effective immediately.

Reporting to Stein Kruse, Group CEO of Holland America Group and Carnival UK, Leibowitz's responsibilities will include oversight of all aspects of the brand's operations, including revenue management, deployment and itinerary planning, hotel operations, and sales and marketing.

"We are excited to welcome Josh into this new role on our senior leadership team, where he will bring extensive experience and knowledge that will further strengthen Seabourn's position in the market," said Kruse. "I am confident that Josh will help carry Seabourn through the challenges currently facing the travel industry to build on its longstanding reputation as an ultra-luxury travel brand unlike any other, supported by a team of people whose everyday focus is on delivering the best."

"I'm excited to join the community of loyal Seabourn guests, our passionate crew, and the travel advisors that come together to deliver extraordinary Seabourn experiences," Leibowitz said. "Our main priority will be working together as we develop plans to resume operations and welcome our past and future guests onboard to create lasting travel memories."

Leibowitz joined Carnival Corporation & plc in 2013 as chief strategy officer and was also named senior vice president, Cunard North America in December 2016.

Prior to joining Carnival Corporation & plc, he served as managing partner of the Miami office of the consulting firm McKinsey & Co., and as a leader in the firm's work in advanced analytics and sales and marketing.

Carnival Legend to the Rescue

Earlier this week, Carnival Legend came to the assistance of a sailboat that had signalled it was in distress. According to Carnival "Our pause in sailing guests doesn’t mean we pause our obligations as seafarers to help others in distress."

On Tuesday, while Carnival Legend was off the coast of The Bahamas, its crew responded to a call for help from a small boat that had run out of fuel.

Carnival Legend rendezvoused with the small craft and delivered 25 gallons of diesel fuel so that the boat could make its way back to Jacksonville.

Many thanks to Carnival Legend Captain Alessandro Galotto and his team for their efforts in lending a hand to their fellow mariners.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 16.78 - 2.61%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 50.30 - 3.01%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.51 - 5.56%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 16.56 - 3.10%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What unique public room architectural feature was planned and implemented on Celebrity Cruises,Mercury only to be subsequently removed prior to the ship's maiden voyage - and why?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which ship received a repreive from the ship breakers to star in the 1976 re-make of the movie "Voyage of the Damned"

Answer - It was the Irpinia of Siosa Lines that got that reprieve.
courtesy of Larry Robertson, Ft. Lauderdale, FL


Cruise News - June 22, 2020

Seabourn Offers Exciting New Itineraries For Fall 2021 Through Winter/Spring 2022
Seabourn has announced the worldwide itineraries for the fall 2021 and winter/spring 2022 seasons. The programs include 56 unique sailings to hidden harbors, yachting playgrounds, marquee ports and must-experience destinations, with some accessible only by smaller ships.

The fall 2021 and winter/spring 2022 seasons will offer significant opportunities for luxury travelers to discover the line's Extraordinary Worlds with nearly 100 departures of seven to 36 days in length. The line's ultra-luxury ships will visit a myriad of interesting and fascinating destinations in Australia & New Zealand, Southeast Asia, India, Africa, Arabia, the Panama Canal, Central America, the Caribbean, and Canada & New England. The itineraries, fares and complete details of the fall 2021 through winter/spring 2022 schedule can be viewed at www.seabourn.com.

Among the many highlights is Seabourn's return to Egypt in nearly a decade aboard Seabourn Ovation during the spring of 2022, and a series of new Panama Canal and Central America voyages on Seabourn Quest in late 2021. The ships will also visit a number of new and notable destinations, including Safaga (Luxor) and Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt; Marigot, Saint Martin; Saint Pierre, Martinique; Cozumel and Manzanillo, Mexico; Golfito and Quepos, Costa Rica; San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; and Cabrits, Dominica, and more.

"We always strive to take our guests to some of the world's most remarkable and noteworthy destinations and give them the opportunity to discover the diverse culture and history firsthand," said Chris Austin, Seabourn's senior vice president of Global Marketing & Sales. "We look forward to welcoming guests on one these upcoming voyages, where they can explore our extraordinary worlds while sailing on the world's finest ultra-luxury resort at sea."

Seabourn's fall 2021 and winter/spring 2022 itinerary highlights include:

• Seabourn Ovation will begin its fall 2021 season with a pair of 18-day cruises from Athens to Dubai, and from Dubai to Singapore, visiting destinations in Israel, Oman, United Arab Emirates, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The ship will then focus on Indonesia with a 10-day cruise from Singapore to Benoa (Denpasar), followed by a 16-day voyage to Sydney. The ship will then sail on four 16-day cruises between Sydney to Auckland, exploring the wonders "down under" and the "Land of the Long White Cloud." Seabourn Ovation will then retrace its route with a 16-day voyage from Sydney to Benoa; a 10-day sailing from Benoa to Singapore; and an 18-day cruise from Singapore to Dubai. The ship's spring 2022 season caps off with an 18-day voyage from Dubai to Athens, which includes the line's return to Egypt with an overnight stop at Safaga (Luxor) and a stop at Sharm el-Sheikh.

• Seabourn Encore will kick off its fall 2021 season with an 18-day voyage through the Holy Land and Arabia from Athens to Dubai, followed by a 17-day voyage through Arabia and India with the ship arriving in Singapore in early December. From there, the ship will sail on a series of 14-day Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam voyages between Hong Kong and Singapore, featuring the line's popular Caviar in the Surf and beach barbecue event. The ship will also visit China and the Philippines on a 14-day voyage departing January 2, 2022. In March, the ship will set sail for Europe with a pair of 17-day voyages, the first from Singapore to Dubai, followed by Dubai to Athens. These voyages will visit many exotic and interesting destinations in Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Israel, Greece, as well as a crossing of the Suez Canal.

• Following Seabourn Odyssey's 2021 summer season in Alaska, the ship will sail a seven-day voyage down the Pacific Coast from Vancouver to Los Angeles, and then head east with a 21-day Panama Canal voyage from Los Angeles to Miami, including stops at warm and sunny destinations in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Key West, Fla., as well as a full transit of the Panama Canal. The ship will then sail south on an 8-day cruise to Bridgetown, where Seabourn Odyssey will sail the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea on its popular and combinable seven-day voyages either round trip from Bridgetown, Barbados or between Bridgetown and Philipsburg, Sint Maarten. There will be 18 seven-day Caribbean cruises for the ship altogether, ideal for both new-to-Seabourn guests and Seabourn Club members. For guests wishing a longer Seabourn experience, they may book back-to-back voyages without any ports repeated. For guests seeking a warm and stress-free vacation to celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year, Seabourn Odyssey will sail on two 10- and 11-day voyages roundtrip from Barbados. In addition, the ship's Caribbean season includes a seven-day cruise from Bridgetown to Aruba in March, followed by a 12-day cruise north to Miami, featuring stops at Curaçao, Bonaire, St. Lucia, Guadeloupe, Antigua & Barbuda, St. Kitts & Nevis, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Seabourn Odyssey will then sail westbound on a 21-day voyage to Los Angeles, stopping at destinations in Key West, Columbia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, as well as a full transit of the Panama Canal. The ship will then sail on an eight-day Pacific coastal cruise from Los Angeles to Vancouver, where it will spend the summer in Alaska and British Columbia beginning mid-May 2022.

• Seabourn Sojourn will sail the Caribbean through fall of 2021, with 11-day voyages roundtrip from Miami beginning mid-November. Destinations include Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Guadeloupe, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, the British Virgin Islands, Saint Barthélemy, as well as the line's popular Caviar in the Surf and beach barbecue. The ship will then sail westbound to Los Angeles on a 21-day Holiday Panama Canal cruise departing December 21, 2021.

• Seabourn Quest will return to Canada and New England in the fall of 2021 with a series of four 11-day and 12-day cruises between Montreal and Boston, followed by a 12-day voyage down the east coast from Montreal to Miami. In November and December, the ship will sail on a series of new 14-day Panama Canal and Central America voyages between Miami and Fuerte Amador (Panama City), Panama, visiting a number of tropical destinations in Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, as well as a full transit of the Panama Canal. The new program also includes a 14-day voyage over Christmas and New Year's, ideal for travelers seeking a getaway during the holidays.

Carnival Corporation & plc Reports Summary Second Quarter Results
Carnival Corporation & plc disclosed summary preliminary financial information for the quarter ended May 31, 2020.

SECOND QUARTER 2020 SUMMARY PRELIMINARY INFORMATION

• U.S. GAAP net loss of $(4.4) billion, or $(6.07) diluted EPS, for the second quarter of 2020, which includes $2.0 billion of non-cash impairment charges.

• Second quarter 2020 adjusted net loss of $(2.4) billion, or $(3.30) adjusted EPS.

• Total revenues for the second quarter of 2020 were $0.7 billion, lower than $4.8 billion in the prior year.

• The company's guest cruise operations have been in a pause for a majority of the second quarter. In addition, Carnival said that it is unable to definitively predict when it will return to normal operations. As a result, Carnival said that it is currently unable to provide an earnings forecast. The pause in guest operations is continuing to have material negative impacts on all aspects of Carnival's business. The longer the pause in guest operations continues the greater the impact on the company's liquidity and financial position. Carnival said that it expects a net loss on both a U.S. GAAP and adjusted basis for the second half of 2020.

• Cash burn rate in the second quarter 2020 was generally in line with the previously disclosed expectation.

• Second quarter 2020 ended with $7.6 billion of available liquidity, and Carnival said that it expects to further enhance future liquidity, including through refinancing scheduled debt maturities. In addition, Carnival said that it has $8.8 billion of committed export credit facilities that are available to fund ship deliveries originally planned through 2023.

• Total customer deposits balance at May 31, 2020 was $2.9 billion, including $475 million related to cruises during the second half of 2020.

PREPARATION FOR THE RESUMPTION OF GUEST OPERATIONS

Carnival said that it expects to resume guest operations, after collaboration with both government and health authorities, in a phased manner, with specific ships and brands returning to service over time to provide its guests with enjoyable vacation experiences. Carnival said that it anticipates that initial sailings will be from a select number of easily accessible homeports. Carnival said that it expects future capacity to be moderated by the phased re-entry of its ships, the removal of capacity from its fleet and delays in new ship deliveries.

In connection with its capacity optimization strategy, Carnival said that it intends to accelerate the removal of ships in fiscal 2020 which were previously expected to be sold over the ensuing years. Carnival said that it already has preliminary agreements for the disposal of 6 ships which are expected to leave the fleet in the next 90 days and is currently working toward additional agreements.

Health and Safety Protocols

In preparation for the resumption of its cruises, and consistent with its commitment to provide its guests with a safe and healthy environment, Carnival said that it is proactively consulting and working in close cooperation with various medical policy experts and public health authorities to develop enhanced procedures and protocols for health and safety onboard its ships. Carnival said that it appreciates the excellent working relationship with the health authorities of federal states and local port authorities in Germany, as well as the Italian Coast Guard, Italian Ministry of Transportation, Italian Ministry of Health and others around the world. A comprehensive restart protocol may include areas such as medical care, screening, testing, mitigation and sanitization addressing arrival and departure at cruise terminals, the boarding and disembarkation process, onboard experiences and shore excursions.

Update on Bookings

Carnival's brands have announced various incentives and flexibility for certain booking payments on select sailings to support guest confidence in making new bookings. These incentives vary by brand and sailing and include onboard credits and reduced or refundable deposits. In addition, Carnival said that it is providing flexibility to guests with bookings on sailings cancelled due to the pause by allowing guests to receive enhanced future cruise credits ("FCC") or elect to receive refunds in cash. Enhanced FCCs increase the value of the guest's original booking or provide incremental onboard credits. As of May 31, 2020, approximately half of guests affected have requested cash refunds. Despite substantially reduced marketing and selling spend, Carnival said that it is seeing growing demand from new bookings for 2021. For the six weeks ending May 31, 2020, approximately two-thirds of 2021 bookings were new bookings. The remaining 2021 booking volumes resulted from guests applying their FCCs to specific future cruises.

As of May 31, 2020, the current portion of customer deposits was $2.6 billion with $121 million relating to third quarter sailings and $353 million relating to fourth quarter sailings. Carnival said that it expects any decline in the customer deposits balance in the second half of 2020, all of which is expected to occur in the third quarter, to be significantly less than the decline in the second quarter of 2020.

As of May 31, 2020, cumulative advanced bookings for the full year of 2021 capacity currently available for sale are within historical ranges at prices that are down in the low to mid-single digits range including the negative yield impact of FCCs and onboard credits applied, on a comparable basis. For the full year of 2021, booking volumes for the six weeks ending May 31, 2020, were running meaningfully behind the prior year. However, Carnival said that it saw an improvement in booking volumes for the six weeks ending May 31, 2020 compared to the prior six weeks.

COVID-19 RESPONSE

In the face of the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic, Carnival said that it paused its guest cruise operations in mid-March. In response to this unprecedented situation, Carnival said that it acted to ensure the health and safety of guests and shipboard team members, optimize the pause in guest operations and maximize its liquidity position.

Ensuring the Health and Safety of Guests and Team Members

During this period Carnival said that it has taken and will continue to take the following actions:

• Returned over 260,000 guests to their homes, coordinating with a large number of countries around the globe. Carnival said that it chartered aircraft, utilized commercial flights and even used its ships to sail home guests who could not fly

• Working around the clock with various local governmental authorities to repatriate shipboard team members as quickly as possible. 49 cruise ships have traveled more than 400,000 nautical miles and Carnival has chartered hundreds of planes to repatriate approximately 60,000 of its shipboard team members to more than 130 countries around the globe. Carnival said that it expects substantially all of the approximately 21,000 remaining shipboard team members to be able to return home by the end of June. The safe manning team members will remain on Carnival's ships

• For those shipboard team members experiencing extended stays onboard, Carnival said that it is focusing on their physical and mental health. Carnival said that it is providing most shipboard team members with single occupancy cabin accommodations, many with a window or balcony. Shipboard team members have access to fresh air and other areas of the ship, movies and internet, and available counseling

Optimizing the Pause in Guest Operations

Carnival said that it estimates that its ongoing ship operating and administrative expenses will be approximately $250 million per month once all ships are in paused status. Carnival said that it continues to seek ways to further reduce this monthly requirement.

Reduced Operating Expenses

Carnival said that it has taken significant actions to reduce operating expenses during the pause in guest operations:

• While maintaining safety, environmental protection and compliance, Carnival said that it significantly reduced ship operating expenses, including crew payroll, food, fuel, insurance and port charges by transitioning ships into paused status, either at anchor or in port and staffed at a safe manning level

• Currently 62 of Carnival's ships are in their final expected pause location. Carnival said that it expects substantially all of its ships to reach their full pause status during the third quarter

• Significantly reduced marketing and selling expenses

• Implemented a combination of layoffs, furloughs, reduced work weeks and salary and benefit reductions across Carnival said that it , including senior management

• Instituted a hiring freeze across the organization, significantly reduced consultant and contractor roles

Reduced Capital Expenditures Carnival said that it has reduced capital expenditures and estimates $300 million of non-newbuild capital expenditures during the second half of 2020, which largely consists of previously committed expenditures.

Carnival said that it previously had four ships scheduled to be delivered between May and October of 2020. Carnival said that it believes COVID-19 has impacted shipyard operations and will result in delivery delays of the ships this year and is working with the shipyards on revised timing. Carnival said that it has committed future financing, comprised of ship export credit facilities, associated with these newbuilds.

Maximizing Liquidity

Carnival said that it has taken and continues to take actions to improve its liquidity including:

• Completed offerings of $6.6 billion through the issuance of first-priority senior secured notes, senior convertible notes and Carnival Corporation common stock

• Fully drew down its $3.0 billion multi-currency revolving credit facility

• Qualified for a government commercial paper program providing over $700 million of liquidity

• Early settled outstanding derivatives, receiving proceeds of $220 million

• Extended a $166 million euro-denominated bank loan, originally maturing in 2020, to March 2021

• Certain export credit agencies have offered 12-month debt amortization and a financial covenant holiday ("Debt Holiday"). The Debt Holiday amendments that have been finalized to date will defer $300 million of principal repayments otherwise due through May 2021 with repayments made over the following four years. Carnival said that it has also obtained financial covenant waivers for these loans for an initial term through March 2021 and waivers of the interest coverage financial covenant for certain of its bank loans through November 2021. Carnival said that it is working to arrange additional financial covenant waivers and additional debt holiday agreements deferring principal repayments of approximately $300 million through March 2021

• Suspended the payment of dividends on, and the repurchase of, Carnival Corporation common stock and Carnival plc ordinary shares

• Carnival said that it is also working on potential sales of non-ship assets

As of May 31, 2020, Carnival said that it has a total of $7.6 billion of available liquidity. In addition, Carnival said that it has $8.8 billion of committed export credit facilities that are available to fund ship deliveries originally planned through 2023.

Cash Burn Rate

During the pause in guest operations, the monthly average cash burn rate for the second half of 2020 is estimated to be approximately $650 million. This rate includes ongoing ship operating and administrative expenses, committed capital expenditures (net of committed export credit facilities), interest expense and excludes changes in customer deposits and scheduled debt maturities. In addition to the refinancings discussed above and the in-process Debt Holiday arrangements, Carnival said that it also expects to refinance approximately $2.4 billion of debt maturities coming due over the next twelve months, half of which matures in the second half of 2020.

Carnival Cruise Line Extends Operational Pause Through September 30
Carnival Cruise Line today advised guests and travel agents that it has extended its operational pause in North America through Sept. 30, 2020.

“During this unprecedented pause in our business, we have continued to assess the operating environment and confer with public health, government and industry officials,” Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy told booked guests and travel agents in a letter sent today. But she added that following the cruise industry’s announcement on Friday that it would voluntarily extend its pause in North America, Carnival Cruise Line is now cancelling all cruises through September 30.

“We have watched with great interest as commerce, travel and personal activities have begun to start back up, and once we do resume service, we will take all necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we bring our ships to in order to maintain public confidence in our business. Nevertheless, we apologize for disrupting your vacation plans and appreciate your patience as we work through these decisions,” Duffy said in the letter.

Carnival initially announced a voluntary 30-day pause in operations on March 13, and has now extended that pause three times, reflecting the public health challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. It is currently completing the repatriation of nearly 29,000 crew members to more than 100 nations who serve its fleet of 27 ships. As with previous pause announcements, Carnival is giving guests who wish to move their booking to a later date a rebooking offer that combines a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) and either a $300 or $600 Onboard Credit (OBC) that has proven very popular with their guests. Guests, as always, have the option to receive a full refund. The process is fully automated so that guests can submit their preference online and they have until May 31, 2021 to make a selection.

“We appreciate the patience and support of our loyal guests, and recognize how much they want to get back to cruising. When the time is right, our outstanding onboard team will be waiting to welcome them back and give them the great vacation that they deserve,” said Duffy.

Royal Caribbean Extends Pause To Cruising
Given ongoing global public health circumstances, Royal Caribbean Group has decided to extend the suspension of most sailings through September 15, 2020, excluding sailings from China, suspended through the end of July, and sailings to Bermuda, suspended through October 31, 2020.

Royal Caribbean said that it is working with guests and travel partners to address this disruption to their vacations.

Carnival Corporation & plc Names New Chief Operations Officer
Carnival Corporation & plc today announced that Josh Weinstein has been named chief operations officer, effective immediately.

Reporting to Carnival Corporation President and CEO Arnold Donald, Weinstein's responsibilities will include oversight of major operational functions, including global maritime, global ports and destinations, global sourcing, global IT and global auditing.

In addition, Weinstein will retain oversight of Carnival UK, the operating company for P&O Cruises and Cunard, which he managed directly for the past three years. Simon Palethorpe, currently president of Cunard, will assume added responsibilities in the role of president of Carnival UK.

The structural leadership moves are part of Carnival said that it 's broader efforts to enhance operations and mobilize the global organization prior to its return to cruising.

"Josh is a highly talented executive with extensive industry experience and institutional knowledge who will add important strength to our senior leadership team," said Donald. "We are leveraging our pause in cruising to make a number of strategic changes within our business, including this important role, which is designed to strengthen our global operations and position Carnival said that it and our brands for the future."

Weinstein's tenure with Carnival Corporation has included 10 years as Carnival said that it 's treasurer, as well as five years as an attorney in the corporate legal department.

"I am grateful for this opportunity and looking forward to taking on this important role at a critical time for our company," Weinstein said. "I certainly realize that many opportunities and challenges lie ahead as we look to restart our cruise operations around the globe. As we navigate this unprecedented time, we are fortunate to have world-class brands and extraordinary team members across the global organization with a proven track record of success to build on as we look toward returning to what we do best, which is providing our guests with the world's best vacation experience."

Prior to joining Carnival Corporation, Weinstein served as a corporate attorney. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the New York University School of Law.

A native of New York, Weinstein and his wife have three children.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 17.23 - 11.37%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 51.86 - 14.75%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.54 - 6.90%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 17.09 - 14.51%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which ship received a repreive from the ship breakers to star in the 1976 re-make of the movie "Voyage of the Damned"

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which Holland America ship caught fire and sank off the Alaska coast in October 1980 while on a positioning cruise from Vancouver to the Orient? Her 524 passengers and crew were evacuated safely.

Answer - The Holland America liner MS Prinsendam, built in 1973, caught fire and sank in the Gulf of Alaska because a boiler explosion on October 4, 1980. All passengers and crew were saved. The liner finally sank on October 11.
courtesy of Fernando M., Seville, Spain.


Cruise News - June 15, 2020

Viking Marks Float Out Of Seventh Ocean Ship
Viking today announced its seventh ocean ship – the 930-guest Viking Venus – was "floated out," marking a major construction milestone and the first time that the new ship touches water. Scheduled to debut in early 2021, Viking Venus will spend her maiden season sailing itineraries in the Mediterranean and in Northern Europe.

"We started Viking's ocean project eight years ago, and together with Fincantieri we have built the world's most beautiful ships. Today we are pleased to celebrate this important milestone in the construction of our seventh ocean ship," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "As the world continues its path to recovery from COVID-19, we remain focused on the future, and with strong bookings for 2021 and the enthusiasm of our guests, we are optimistic about what is to come. I would like to thank our partners at Fincantieri and everyone working at the yard in Ancona for the hard work and dedication on the building of Viking Venus, and we look forward to welcoming her to our fleet early next year."

The traditional float out ceremony took place at Fincantieri's Ancona shipyard and is significant because it denotes a ship moving into its final stage of construction. The float out of Viking Venus began at approximately 11:30 a.m. local time, when a cord was cut to allow water to begin flowing into the ship's building dock. Following a two-day process that will set Viking Venus afloat, she will then be moved to a nearby outfitting dock for final construction and interior build-out.

Carnival Cruise and Panama Partner to Organize Cross-Country Crew Transfer As Part of Repatriation Effort
In the final stages of its repatriation efforts for crew members, Carnival Cruise Line worked closely with key Panamanian officials, including the Panama Minister of Maritime Affairs, The Panama Maritime Authority, the Panama Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Panama Ministry of Health, to allow for the safe and efficient transfer of crew members from Carnival Miracle to cross the Isthmus of Panama via bus to join Carnival Glory on the country’s opposite coast.

With Carnival Miracle positioned on Panama’s Pacific coast, nearly 100 team members boarded busses for a 90-minute chartered transfer to join Carnival Glory which was docked on the country’s Atlantic side. Team members from other ships will also join Carnival Glory which will sail to Curacao for charter and commercial flights to their home countries.

“Panamanian officials truly went above and beyond in helping our team members transit their country and to facilitate their return home and for that we are very grateful. We would like to express our most sincere appreciation and thanks to many government agencies, local maritime partners and private operators for their role in making this cross-country transfer happen. Efforts like this reinforce the benefits strong partnerships play in maritime operations and safety,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

This week, Carnival Cruise Line has repatriated nearly 20,000 team members from its 27 ships and expects to complete the work of getting more than 26,000 crew members home to more than 100 nations over the coming weeks.

Paul Gauguin Cruises To Resume In July
Paul Gauguin Cruises announced this week that they are resuming their Tahiti and French Polynesia voyages starting in July 2020 and have released its comprehensive “Covid-Safe Protocol.”

French Polynesia is officially re-opening to international tourism on July 15, 2020, and more information on their travel policy can be found here. Paul Gauguin Cruises will offer 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands voyages departing July 11 and July 18, 2020, for the local French Polynesian market. Paul Gauguin Cruises will welcome both local and international guests on a 10-night Society Islands & Tuamotus voyage departing July 29, 2020, from Papeete, Tahiti. In August 2020 and beyond, they will resume their previously scheduled 7- to 14-night Tahiti, French Polynesia, and South Pacific sailings.

In a statement, the cruise line said that the safety and security of guests and crew members remains Paul Gauguin Cruises’ top priority. The small size of The Gauguin, the medical infrastructure and teams on board, protocols and the professionalism of crew, ensured that there were no cases of Covid-19 contamination.

To prepare for the resumption of activity, Paul Gauguin Cruises and PONANT are collaborating with the IHU (Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire) Méditerranée Infection of Marseilles, one of the world's leading centers in the field of infectious diseases, as well as with the Battalion of Marine Firemen of Marseilles.

The cruise line said that the “Covid-Safe” health protocol has been developed by Paul Gauguin Cruises and PONANT and is based on health standards that exceed international regulations. This protocol is built on the principle of double protection: 100 percent monitoring of people and goods before boarding, then once on board, strict health protocols are applied.

In addition to strict cleaning procedures advised by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), implementation of social distancing requirements and enhanced employee training, Paul Gauguin Cruises’ new measures include:

Pre-Boarding

• Prior to boarding, all guests and crew members will have to present a signed doctor’s medical form, complete a health questionnaire, and undergo a health check and screening by the ship’s medical staff.

• All luggage will pass through a disinfecting zone by sanitizing mist or UV lamps.

• Surgical and cloth masks, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer bottles will be provided to passengers.

On-board experience

• 100 percent fresh air in staterooms, through non-recirculating air conditioning systems. Ventilated air will be renewed in the common areas at least five times per hour.

• Restaurant layouts have been redesigned and will only offer contactless a la carte dining options.

• Public spaces, such as the fitness room and theater will be capped at 50 percent occupancy.

• Hourly disinfecting of high-touch points, such as door handles and handrails, with EcoLab peroxide, which eliminates 100 percent of germs, bacteria and against biological contamination.

• Crew members are required to wear a mask or protective visor when in contact with guests. Guests will be asked to wear a mask in hallway corridors and will be recommended in public spaces.

• The Gauguin is equipped with advanced hospital equipment, including mobile laboratory terminals that enable testing on site for infectious or tropical diseases. Advanced diagnostic equipment such as ultrasound, radiology and blood biological analysis is available, and one doctor and one nurse are present on every sailing.

Shore excursions

• Zodiacs will be thoroughly disinfected after each stopover.

• Re-boarding after shore excursions will only be permitted after temperature check and disinfection procedures (individuals and personal belongings).

The complete “Covid-Safe Protocol” manifesto that has been developed is available online here.

Holland America Line Extends its Pause of Cruise Operations to Fall Vancouver Departures and Early 2021 Hawaii Itineraries
With travel and port restrictions continuing for the near future due to global health concerns, Holland America Line is extending its pause of cruise operations and cancelling additional departures from the port of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in 2020, as well as select Hawaii itineraries for early 2021.

The following cruises are affected:

Eurodam:

• Sept. 26, 2020, 22-day Panama Canal cruise from Vancouver to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Koningsdam:

• Sept. 26, 2020, seven-day Pacific Northwest cruise from Vancouver to San Diego, California.

• Jan. 16 and Feb. 2, 2021, Circle Hawaii Voyages roundtrip from San Diego.

Maasdam:

• Sept. 21, 2020, 16-day Mexico and Sea of Cortez itinerary from Vancouver to San Diego.

Noordam:

• Sept. 27, 2020, 14-day North Pacific Crossing from Vancouver to Yokohama, Japan.

Volendam:

• Sept. 30, Oct. 3 and Oct. 10, 2020, three- and seven-day Pacific Northwest and coastal cruises from Vancouver.

Westerdam:

• Sept. 20, 2020, 17-day Circle Hawaii cruise roundtrip from Vancouver.

• Oct. 7, 2020, 23-day Inca Discovery voyage from Vancouver to San Antonio (Santiago), Chile.

All shorter segments within the above cruise departures are cancelled. Collectors' Voyages that combine back-to-back cruises including the above departure dates are also cancelled.

Those with impacted cruises automatically will be cancelled, and no action is needed for guests opting for the Future Cruise Credit (FCC). All guests will receive an FCC per person as follows:

• Paid in Full: Those who had paid in full will receive 125% FCC of the base cruise fare paid to Holland America Line.

• Not Paid in Full: Those with bookings not paid in full will receive an FCC of double the amount of the deposit paid for the cruise. The minimum FCC is $100 and the maximum will be an amount up to the base cruise fare paid.

The FCC is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and may be used to book sailings departing through Dec. 31, 2022. All other funds paid to Holland America Line may be transferred to a new booking or will automatically be refunded via the method of payment used to purchase the services.

Guests who prefer a 100% refund of monies paid to Holland America Line can visit the Cancellation Preferences form to indicate this preference no later than July 15, 2020.

The above options are not applicable to guests booked on a charter sailing. Other booking and cancellation conditions and policies may?apply if the cruise was not booked through Holland America Line. See the terms and conditions in the Cancellation Preferences form for all details.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 19.44 - 21.96%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 60.83 - 19.02%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.58 - 6.45%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 19.99 - 25.58%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which Holland America ship caught fire and sank off the Alaska coast in October 1980 while on a positioning cruise from Vancouver to the Orient? Her 524 passengers and crew were evacuated safely.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Beginning in March of 1989, Cunard's QE2 was out of service for 72 days. Why was she out of service?

Answer - To celebrate the 130th anniversary of the City of Yokohama a consortium of Japanese companies chartered the QE2 for 72 days from March 27th 1989. She docked alongside the passenger terminal as a central attraction and although she did not go to sea she maintained her status as an ocean liner.
courtesy of Ralph Sackett, Lichfield UK


Cruise News - June 8, 2020

Silversea Welcomes Silver Origin To Its Fleet
Silversea Cruises, the leading ultra-luxury cruise line, has taken delivery of its first-ever destination-specific ship, Silver Origin, from Dutch shipyard De Hoop. An intimate ceremony, held on Wednesday June 3, 2020, marked the first in-person cruise ship delivery since the pandemic prompted a global lockdown.

"It was a very proud moment for me to attend Silver Origin's official delivery ceremony in person, and to welcome Silversea's first-ever destination-specific ship to our fleet. I am very grateful to all involved in the build, especially the professionals at De Hoop Shipyard," says Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio. "In September 2013, Silversea became the first cruise line to launch an ultra-luxury ship in the Galapagos Archipelago. We have invested our accrued know-how into the design of Silver Origin. Every element of the ship has been designed with the destination in mind and tailored to enhance the experience for travellers, while fostering a deep sense of respect for this magnificent ecosystem and everything that inhabits it."

"We welcome the beautiful Silver Origin to our fleet as the first ship since the start of our collaboration with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.," says Roberto Martinoli, Silversea's President & CEO. "The ship demonstrates how fruitful our collaboration has been, while providing an indication of the great success to come. With Silversea's destination expertise and the invaluable support of the RCL group, we have pushed the boundaries of ultra-luxury travel in the Galapagos with Silver Origin. I want to extend my gratitude to all those involved, including my colleagues at both Silversea and RCL, but especially to the De Hoop Shipyard who overcame many challenges to complete the ship."

"It has been extremely rewarding to work on this project, and we are proud for having been able to deliver the ship in spite of the external challenges," says Patrick Janssens, CEO of De Hoop Shipyard. "The delivery ceremony marked a momentous moment for both parties, and delivering Silver Origin to Silversea's Executives here in Rotterdam was a great pleasure. We wish the cruise line every success for the future and we look forward to seeing this beautiful ship in the Galapagos Islands where she belongs."

Integrating the latest state-of-the-art technology and designed with a focus on the pillars of sustainability, destination on board, expedition experience, authentic local culture, and comfort and service, the all-suite, all-balcony, 100-guest Silver Origin will welcome travellers year-round in the unique Galapagos Archipelago. The ship will provide guests with the ultimate destination experience, inspired by Silversea's accrued expertise and founded on a deep respect for the fragility of the natural environment, while maintaining the cruise line's trademark quality of service.

Innovative, enriching, elegant, each of Silver Origin's spaces has been designed specifically with the Galapagos in mind by Hirsch Bedner Associates Miami. Silversea's executives visited each to experience first-hand how they will create unique synergies between the destination and the ship.

THE MARINA: AN EXCEPTIONAL ARRIVAL EXPERIENCE

As a key point of entry to the ship/destination, the Marina has been designed with great attention-to-detail to offer guests an unprecedented arrival/disembarkation experience. Connected to the Basecamp, the Zodiac embarkation area features large comfortable couches, as well as showers for guests to rinse their gear, racks to conveniently store wetsuits and other equipment, and an innovative fold-out stern with special boarding facilities that can accommodate two Zodiacs at the same time. As Silver Origin will have the highest Zodiac-to-guest ratio in the Galapagos at 1:12.5, a large garage with hydraulic doors, hatches and cranes has been created between decks 2 and 3 to store six of the ship's eight Zodiacs, while two will be stored on the bow.

BASECAMP: IMMERSIVE DISCOVERY ON BOARD

Basecamp is one of Silver Origin's most innovative spaces, designed especially to bring the destination on board. The heart of the ship, the 551m2 Basecamp will host educational activities in which guests will interact with Silversea's team of expert guides—all permanent residents of the Galapagos and certified by the Galapagos National Park—to learn more about the rare wildlife, remarkable landscapes and captivating history of the Galapagos Islands, before and after excursions.

With bespoke software created exclusively for Silversea by strategic-design studio Sketchin and with input from Silversea's Expedition Team, the centrepiece of Basecamp is a 624x162cm interactive digital wall—the largest interactive screen in the Galapagos—and control podium. Through this interactive programme, which will change according to the itinerary, guests will be able to access extraordinary destination-related content, including historical pictures provided by the Royal Geographical Society of London, videos with exclusive aerial and underwater shots, excursion previews and scientific presentations. The Expedition Team will use the LED wall to introduce guests to the wonders of the Galapagos before they embark on Zodiac and kayak adventures to experience them first-hand.

THE EXPLORER LOUNGE: AN ELEGANT SPACE TO UNWIND

Offering an inviting space in which guests can relax of an evening, while enjoying a cocktail and a book from Silver Origin's curated library, the 479m2 Explorer Lounge exudes the same elegance that characterises the other ships in Silversea's ultra-luxury fleet. The space doubles as a state-of-the-art lecture room and will host daily lectures and briefings, as well as live piano performances. Floor-to-ceiling windows bring the destination inside, while a large video wall with state-of-the-art AV technology and wide HD screens in different seating areas will optimise guests' expedition experience. Outside, a beautiful terrace with comfortable sofas and armchairs, including a round central sofa with a fire pit, will offer guests the perfect spot in which to unwind with a drink before and after lectures.

THE RESTAURANT & THE GRILL: AN IMMERSIVE CULINARY PHILOSOPHY

In-line with Silversea's new S.A.L.T. programme, Silver Origin's guests will benefit from a uniquely immersive culinary philosophy, centred upon regionally-grown ingredients, Ecuadorian cuisine, and a farm-to-table approach. Locally-inspired culinary experiences—both on board and ashore—will strengthen travellers' connections with the unique culture, landscapes and people of the Galapagos, as well as those of Ecuador. The Restaurant on Deck 4 (capacity: 120) and the Grill on Deck 7 (capacity: 100) will each be able to accommodate all guests at once, offering diners the luxury of choice. Silversea's Hot Rocks concept will be tailored with an Ecuadorian twist at the Grill, where an advanced sheltering system will protect diners from the wind and low temperatures for maximum comfort.

SPA & FITNESS CENTRE: STATE-OF-THE-ART RELAXATION

Silver Origin's Fitness Centre features state-of-the-art Technogym equipment and offers guests outstanding views on the destination with floor-to-ceiling windows. The Spa, with a dedicated treatment room for therapies and massages, is the ideal place in which to relax after a day of exploration on the islands. The Beauty Salon will offer a wide array of services, including hairdressing and manicure/pedicure.

OBSERVATION LOUNGE: A COSY HIDEAWAY

Located at the very front of the ship, the 75m2 Observation Lounge is one of the cosiest venues on board, offering an elegant hideaway with incredible views on the destination thanks to 180-degree floor-to-ceiling glass windows. After a long day spent exploring the Galapagos Archipelago, guests will find ultimate relaxation in the Observation Lounge, perhaps reading a book from the carefully selected library or just enjoying a vivid sunset.

GUEST SUITES: AMONG THE MOST SPACIOUS IN THE GALAPAGOS

Recognising that days spent exploring the islands can be intense, Silver Origin's suites are among the most spacious and comfortable in the Galapagos: the Owner's Suite, for example, measures a total of 160m2 (1,722ft2) and provides sweeping views of the destination with a vast veranda. Silver Origin whispers luxury as the only ship in the archipelago to offer butler service for all suites. Guests will enjoy the highest crew-to-guest ratio in the region (1:1.11) for unparalleled levels of personalised comfort. All suites benefit from full room automation, which allows guests to control room conditions with the touch of a button.

Spectacular destination-focused views are among the hallmarks of Silver Origin's suites, whose design and amenities were inspired by the acclaimed suites of Silversea's larger ships. Outfitted in neutral tones and natural materials that complement the Galapagos' environment, and designed by GEM, all suites have floor-to-ceiling windows and a private balcony, while select suites feature the innovate Horizon Balcony, which converts to a floor-to-ceiling window at the touch of a button. Most upper suites incorporate an ocean-view bathtub and shower, some of which are accessible from the balcony.

ADDRESSING SUSTAINABILITY

Built with the environment in mind as one of the most energy-efficient ships in its class, Silver Origin incorporates environmentally low-impact features to comply with future rules and regulations, in addition to the Galapagos National Park Directorate regulations. The latest technological innovations mean a 15% reduction in fuel consumption and fewer exhaust emissions. The ship's dynamic positioning system will be used when positioned over delicate seabed ecosystems to prevent the anchor from causing damage; suites incorporate freshwater purification systems that convert seawater into drinking water, thus drastically reducing the use of plastic on board; and a wastewater treatment system will meet or exceed the strictest regulations in the market. Moreover, all waste will undergo a rigid segregation procedure on board and will be delivered to a local waste management enterprise for it to be recycled or shipped out of the islands.

Silversea Cruises has launched the Silversea Fund for the Galapagos—a dedicated fund that will support educational projects to safeguard the wellbeing of the Galapagos Islands for future generations. By supporting a diverse selection of projects each year, the Silversea Fund will strengthen the balance between humans and nature in the Galapagos, as part of a long-term conservation strategy. The fund's donors will enjoy savings on Silversea's voyages, as the cruise line will match guests' contributions in the form of a Future Cruise Credit to underpin its commitment to the cause.

Cunard Extends Pause in Operations
Cunard cruise line announced today that, as a result of the continued impact of Covid-19, it will be extending the pause in operations.

For its ships Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, Cunard is cancelling all sailings that were due to depart up to and including 1 November, 2020 and for Queen Elizabeth, departures up to and including the 23 November, 2020.

Cunard President, Simon Palethorpe, said, "With many differing restrictions across countries, people's ability to move freely and safely across borders remains seemingly someway in the distance. For Cunard, where we celebrate having a truly international mix of guests and sail all over the world, this becomes particularly impactful. We also need to better understand the implications Covid-19 will have on board our ships. We are therefore working, at the highest level possible, with government bodies, including the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - the CDC - and Public Health England, as well as the industry collective body – CLIA - and other expert medical professionals to review every aspect of a holiday with us."

He added: "Whilst we have always taken pride in having the highest levels of health and safety, we are looking at enhanced protocols across all aspects of ship life and experiences on shore. We will only return to service when we have a comprehensive restart protocol with the stamps of approval and accreditation from the most trusted and informed sources."

Cunard will be communicating with all guests, and their travel advisors, who are booked on affected voyages.

As Cunard has done previously during this pause period, guests who are booked on cancelled voyages will automatically be given a 125% Future Cruise Credit. This can be redeemed against any new booking made by the end of December 2021 on any voyage that's on sale at the time of booking.

Princess Cruises Extends Pause of Global Ship Operations on Select Sailings in Australia, Canada and Taiwan
Due to extension of the closure of cruise ports in regions around the world and other factors impacting international travel, Princess Cruises is extending its pause in cruise operations with respect to the following voyages:

• All cruises sailing in and out of Australia through mid-September on Sea Princess, Majestic Princess, Sun Princess and Sapphire Princess

• All cruises in and out of Vancouver and Seattle in September and October on Coral Princess, Emerald Princess, Grand Princess, Royal Princess, Ruby Princess and Star Princess

• Pacific and California Coast 7-day roundtrip cruises from San Francisco departing in September and October 2020 on Star Princess

• All roundtrip cruises from Keelung, Taiwan, departing August 2020 on Majestic Princess

Guests currently booked on these canceled voyages, who have paid Princess in full, will have the option to receive a refundable Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 25% of the cruise fare (not applicable on charter voyages).

For guests who have not paid in full, Princess will Double the Deposit, providing a refundable FCC for the money currently on deposit plus a matching bonus FCC that can be used on any voyage through May 1, 2022. The matching bonus FCC is non-refundable, will not exceed the base cruise fare amount of the currently booked cruise and will have a minimum value of $100 per person.

For Sea Princess, Sun Princess, and Sapphire Princess May and June sailings a different offer was provided.

In order to receive the above FCC no action is required.

Alternatively, guests can request a full refund for all monies paid on their booking through this online form. Requests must be received by June 30, 2020, or guest will be registered for the Future Cruise Credit option.

Royal Caribbean Announces Closing Of Concurrent Offerings Of $2.15 Billion Senior Guaranteed Notes And Senior Convertible Notes
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today announced that it has closed its concurrent private offerings of $1.0 billion aggregate principal amount of 9.125% Senior Guaranteed Notes due 2023 (the "Senior Notes") and $1.15 billion aggregate principal amount of 4.250% of Convertible Senior Notes due 2023 (the "Convertible Notes" and, collectively with the Senior Notes, the "Notes"). The Senior Notes will mature on June 15, 2023 unless earlier redeemed or repurchased and the Convertible Notes will mature on June 15, 2023, unless earlier converted, redeemed pursuant to a tax redemption or repurchased.

The Senior Notes are fully and unconditionally guaranteed on a senior unsecured basis by RCI Holdings LLC, a limited liability company formed and existing under the laws of Liberia and a direct, wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company that owns 100% of the equity interest of certain of the Company's wholly-owned vessel-owning subsidiaries. The Convertible Notes will not be guaranteed by any of the Company's subsidiaries.

The Company expects to use the combined net proceeds from the offerings of the Notes for general corporate purposes, which may include the repayment of indebtedness.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 24.91 + 48.27%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 75.12 + 35.01%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.62 + 6.90%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 26.86 + 55.35%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Beginning in March of 1989, Cunard's QE2 was out of service for 72 days. Why was she out of service?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which cruise ship survived being struck by a 100 foot high rogue wave while approaching Casablanca during her world cruise of 1976? She rolled an estimated 40 degrees but was able to right herself.

Answer - The ship in question is the Rotterdam (V) of Holland America Line.
courtesy of Keith Brittin


Cruise News - June 1, 2020

Crystal Endeavor Delivery Delayed to 2021
Crystal Cruises announced this week that it continues to closely monitor and evaluate the current COVID-19 situation. The cruise line also said that the MV WERFTEN shipyard where Crystal Endeavor is being constructed continues to be closed and that they are awaiting further information on when it will be fully operational. Additionally, cruise ports around the world remain temporarily closed including Australia and New Zealand. Because of these factors, Crystal has made the decision to further postpone the introduction of Crystal Endeavor and cancel the remainder of the ship’s 2020 itineraries.

In the announcement, Crystal said "We know that our guests, and the entire Crystal Family, have been looking forward to the introduction of our newest ship and we want to sincerely apologize that your travel plans have been impacted by this unprecedented global health pandemic. We are pleased to provide guests booked on Crystal Endeavor’s November or December 2020 sailings with Credits* equal to 125% of their cruise fare paid or deposit paid – valid on any Crystal experience (Ocean, River, Yacht or Expedition) embarking through December 31, 2023 - along with a refund of port charges, taxes, and fees, and air and hotel packages booked through Crystal."

Crystal encouraged its guests to contact their travel advisor to assist them with rebooking their future Crystal cruise. Full year voyage collections for each Crystal experience – through 2022 are available now to review and our 2023 Ocean collection will be online in early July of this year with 2023 deployments for River, Yacht and Expedition following in due course.

With more than 30 years of cruising to the far reaches of the world, Crystal has a long tradition of implementing and maintaining the highest health and safety policies at sea. While their fleet is paused, the Crystal said that its team is developing new procedures and policies that will support all public health and regulatory requirements and ensure that their guests’ vacations continue to be not only relaxing and pleasurable but safe and healthy. Details of these new measures and initiatives will be announced soon.

In the announcement, Crystal also noted that the inherent design of Crystal ships maximizes personal and public space, offering plenty of options for those who choose to keep a healthy distance during their voyage. All Crystal ships across the fleet including Ocean, River, Yacht and Expedition offer nearly double the space per person than ships of a similar size, which is among the highest space ratios in the industry and will be further augmented through the new measures we will be implementing. Further, Crystal Endeavor and Crystal’s River ships are all-suite, featuring all-balcony suites and most staterooms on their two Ocean ships feature private verandas for fresh airflow.

Carnival Cruise Line Says “Hvala” to Dubrovnik
Carnival Cruise Line issued a big “hvala” (thank you) to Dubrovnik, Croatia today, after an extraordinary effort resulted in the repatriation of nearly 3,000 Carnival team members through the Port of Dubrovnik last week.

The cruise industry really does bring the citizens of the world together and Carnival proudly boasts 110 nationalities amongst its onboard team. That can make things complicated in this current situation as the world’s largest cruise line works to repatriate more than 26,000 team members home, with a backdrop of some nations with closed borders, flight options limited, and debarkation and immigration policies frequently changing.

“Luckily, Carnival has great port partners all over the world who are working with Carnival said that it . And today, we’d like to recognize our friends in the Republic of Croatia and the Port of Dubrovnik. Over the past week, Carnival Breeze and Carnival Magic made calls on the magical city of Dubrovnik and safely and successfully repatriated nearly 3,000 Carnival team members. Not just our Croatian citizens and those of neighboring countries like Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia that we connected home by bus, but we were also able to book commercial flights for hundreds of others trying to get home to dozens of European nations, as well as Indonesia and the Philippines. Carnival wants to acknowledge the many government agencies, private operators and local maritime partners that played such an important role in this mission. When Dubrovnik is ready, we can’t wait to get back to cruise operations to bring our ships, crew and wonderful guests to this beautiful city,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

P&O Cruises extends pause in operations for all sailings until October 15, 2020
P&O Cruises has announced an extension to the pause in its operations until October 15, 2020 as it focuses on working in close coordination with all relevant public health bodies to approve further enhancement of Carnival said that it 's already stringent health and safety protocols.

In the latest of a series of videos P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said:

"As a business our operational focus is not "when can we resume sailing?" but is instead "how can we develop a comprehensive restart protocol that will keep everyone on board, our crew and guests, safe and well and still give our guests an amazing holiday?"

"We are working with government and industry bodies at the highest possible level, such as Public Health England (PHE) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to review every aspect of a holiday with us and establish a framework of policies and procedures. Our aspiration is to be adopting best practice in managing COVID-19 within the travel industry.

"Unfortunately, as the world continues to adapt to this global crisis, we have made the decision, difficult as it is, to extend our pause in operations for all sailings up to and including October 15, 2020. We are so sorry for the disappointment this will cause to so many of our guests."

All guests who were booked on these cancelled sailings will receive an enhanced Future Cruise Credit which gives an additional 25% on top of the amount paid for the holiday.

Ludlow continued:

"We have now amended our systems so that those guests with the enhanced 125% Future Cruise Credit may now redeem them online without the need to call us, which will make things much easier for our guests. Further details of this will be on the website."

Following feedback from guests P&O Cruises has also confirmed that the Future Cruise Credit, which may be held until the end of 2021, may be put against any holiday on sale at that time, giving guests maximum flexibility and choice.

FCCs may also be used to upgrade or for a second cabin for any existing booking and also may be gifted or transferred to someone else. This option will also be available until the end of December 2021.

"P&O Cruises is also introducing a 5% deposit for new bookings made between 27 May and 29 June 2020. The offer is available on applicable Early Saver and Select Price holidays of 19 nights or fewer from January 2021. See website for details.

"We want to apologise once again to those guests who wait for refunds, particularly at a time of financial constraints, however the new technology we have in place is rapidly improving things though and we continue to make further progress on a daily basis."

Expanding on the likely protocols Ludlow said:

"We have for years had in place many of the protocols now considered advisable for other social gathering venues, such as hand-sanitizing stations and rigorous cleaning and disinfecting procedures. We also have for years gone beyond those protocols by having guests complete a health declaration form and having a comprehensive medical facility on board each ship providing 24/7 medical care and treatment. During the recent crisis, we added robust health screening upon embarkation, starting with thermal scanning of guests and crew.

"Along with the rest of the world, we will adapt. We will work closely with medical experts and global authorities to help us determine the best way to move forward while honoring our highest responsibility – the health, safety, and wellbeing of our guests, crew and communities we visit, along with compliance and environmental protection.

"We have always taken such pride in our standards of cleanliness and hygiene before Covid-19, but when we return there will be enhanced protocols approved by hospitality and national public health authorities. This will ensure we continue to have in place high levels of cleanliness across every single aspect of public areas, crew living areas and every item of furniture in cabins and everywhere on board as well as approved safety standards for the service of food and drink; entertainment and experiences on board and on shore.

"When the time is right, we will be ready to resume our tradition of providing amazing holiday experiences for our guests."

Norwegian Cruise Line Releases New Health Protocols
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced today new health protocols that will be in effect when the cruise line resumes operations. NCL said that it has been working closely with the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) and are adding stringent protocols, strategic application and supporting innovation to meet and exceed their standards once those have been finalized by them. The below are the safety measures we will immediately be implementing fleetwide, with more in development.

ALL-NEW AIR FILTRATION
Installation of medical-grade air-filters, H13 HEPA, that remove 99.95% of airborne pathogens across our entire fleet to ensure the air you breathe is clean.

• Replace existing filters with H13 HEPA filters – Medical Grade
H13 HEPA is one of the highest grades of particulate air filter, removing 99.95% of all particulates 0.1 microns or larger. For comparison purposes, COVID-19 is 0.125 microns (25% larger), a single blood cell is 10 microns (10,000% larger) and a single human hair is 75 microns (75,000% larger).

ENHANCED SCREENING PROTOCOLS
All guests will undergo an enhanced pre-embarkation health screening, and those considered at risk will undergo additional screening. Additionally, all crew will undergo extensive screening prior to embarkation and constant monitoring throughout the voyage. Touchless temperature checks and continuous monitoring of guests and crew throughout the voyage will help identify potential health issues, offering an additional layer of prevention and protection.

• Temperature Screenings -Touchless temperature checks will occur:

• Prior to embarkation

• Upon returning to the ship from a port of call

• Prior to all meals in dining venues

• Prior to all activities in public venues

• Prior to disembarkation

• Crew Screenings -A healthy crew helps ensure healthy guests. Constant monitoring of crew health includes temperature checks multiple times per day as well as rigid sanitation protocols

We’re enhancing our existing Pre-Employment Medical Examination process, which already screens for a wide variety of infectious diseases, to ensure the health and safety of our crew. We’re exploring on board testing capabilities that will allow crew members to undergo the latest, most advanced form of COVID-19 testing at any time throughout their employment contract Sanitation Icon

INCREASED SANITATION MEASURES
All ships are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to every voyage in accordance with company protocols, which are developed in partnership with CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program. Embarkation terminals will be sanitized continuously, and, where possible, fogged before and after each embarkation and debarkation. Further, all staterooms, suites and public areas will be cleaned, sanitized and disinfected at an increased frequency, and including the use of Electrostatic Spray Technology. Increased sanitation efforts include:

• HOCl Fogging in Staterooms & Public Areas
Fogging in staterooms and public areas with the disinfectant hypochlorous acid (HOCI). Hypochlorous acid is a non-toxic, powerful oxidant that effectively kills bacteria, spores, and viruses. It is natural and safe to use in open areas since it is comprised of natural elements such as water and salt, and electric charge.

• Increased frequencies of cleaning
Our 24/7 prevention schedule will feature continuous disinfection of public areas and high-traffic touch points. We will ensure that cleaning occurs continuously for all elevators and all public areas during on and off-peak hours.

• Full Service Buffets
Buffets and beverage stations will be full service with staff available to serve guests.

• Personal Hygiene
All guests will be strongly encouraged to engage in frequent handwashing, including when entering food and beverage venues, and hand sanitizer will be prominently placed and easily accessible throughout the ship. Social Distancing Icon

RESPONSIBLE SOCIAL DISTANCING
To provide even more space for responsible social distancing, guest capacity on board will be reduced. Staggered embarkation and online check-in will be implemented for proper social distancing. In addition, we are committed to reducing capacity in all public areas throughout the voyage.

• Online check-in and staggered embarkation
We continue to work with port and government authorities to determine procedures that are in accordance with CDC and global health agencies’ guidance, to implement protocols that allow for proper social distancing during the embarkation process, including staggered embarkation and advanced check-in procedures.

• Social Distancing Onboard
All onboard activities will still be available, although operated at a reduced capacity, and in some cases, slightly modified in order to ensure safe social distancing. We’ll take necessary precautions and follow applicable public health guidelines to ensure guest health and safety, which is our highest priority at all times. Medical Facilities Icon

ENHANCED MEDICAL RESOURCES
Onboard medical centers will be fully equipped with the latest testing kits and medical supplies. We are also increasing our medical team fleetwide. Additionally, each ship has dedicated isolation accommodations should the need arise.

• Testing kits and medical supplies include:

• Advanced on-site rapid diagnostic testing for COVID-19

• Increased inventory of medical oxygen equipment

• Increased inventory of vaccinations

• Increased inventory of medication to treat COVID-19

• Enhanced health & safety trainings and continued education for crew members

• We will begin to introduce a newly created onboard position of Public Health Officer, responsible for the oversight of all sanitation and outbreak prevention initiatives. Additionally, they will monitor the day-to-day cleanliness of all public areas and accommodations, maintaining compliance with the CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program.

EXTENDED SHIP TO SHORE SAFETY

• We’re partnering with our local destinations and tour operators to ensure our industry-leading health and sanitation protocols extend to the shoreside experience.

• We will only visit safe, open ports of call which may cause changes to your itinerary. Keeping our guests up-to-date with the latest confirmed changes impacting their itineraries is a top priority.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 16.80 + 16.18%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 55.64 + 28.98%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.58 + 1.75%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 17.29 + 24.39%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which cruise ship survived being struck by a 100 foot high rogue wave while approaching Casablanca during her world cruise of 1976? She rolled an estimated 40 degrees but was able to right herself.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which famous liner came to the assistance of the Andrea Doria after she was struck by the Swedish liner Stockholm in 1956?

Answer - It was the famous Ile de France of the French Line.
courtesy of Hans-Peter Lemcke-Braselmann


Cruise News - May 25, 2020

Carnival Corporation CEO Talks Future of Cruising
Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation, joined editor-in-chief of Porthole Cruise Magazine, Bill Panoff, to discuss the latest news in cruise and Carnival Corporation's response to COVID-19, including what's ahead for Carnival said that it and cruise industry overall. Donald spoke to the resilience of an industry that was in the midst of unprecedented growth for the past 10 years before the unexpected spread of COVID-19 sent cruise lines into a holding pattern.

"One reason this lockdown has been hard on everybody is [it is] also taking them away from the people and the experiences they value the most, and cruising is such a big part of that for so many people. We live, in cruise, in the hearts of millions of people."

When asked if he was surprised by the eagerness of cruisers to get back on board, Donald spoke to the value many people place on the relationships and experiences in their lives.

"I think that this whole experience with shelter in place, stay-at-home, has helped a lot of people to slow down and focus on what's important in their lives: family, friends, having experiences," he said.

Donald noted that partnerships with travel professionals will be an important part of returning the industry to normal. A collaborative effort will help Carnival Corporation and its nine cruise line brands reach their goal of coming out of this situation stronger than ever before. Partnerships with cruise and travel professionals around the world can strengthen the knowledge and understanding of the many health protocols already in place to keep cruise passengers safe while enjoying their vacation, and also inform cruisers of what the cruise lines will be doing to further enhance procedures and protocols to provide a healthy and safe experience.

vA pause in operation hasn't just affected cruise lines. Ports all over the world rely on revenue brought in by cruise ships, particularly in the Caribbean. Donald explained that speaking with officials from ports and local governments in recent months makes it clear the region is anxious for a return to normalcy. Communication between ports and cruise lines will be key for a safe and effective industry restart.

Donald acknowledged that the upcoming release of Mardi Gras from the corporation's Carnival Cruise Line brand would come later than scheduled, but he said that once the ship is delivered, cruisers would love the new and improved version of the Carnival brand's classic ship.

He also touched on the corporation's investment in a new cruise terminal in Dubai and why cruisers unfamiliar with the region should be excited for the chance to experience a place full of unique culture, exquisite cuisine and a rich history with plenty of places to explore.

Donald also discussed how the current pandemic is a once-in-a-generation event, and that people around the world are doing their best to navigate through the global health crisis as the situation evolves, using the best information available at any given time.

The discussion also touched on whether Carnival Corporation had received cash bailout from the government, with Donald noting that Carnival said that it "received no bailout from the U.S. government in any shape, form or fashion" and instead raised funding on its own in the event of an extended pause.

Regarding the timing of Carnival said that it 's and industry's decision to pause cruise operations on March 13, Donald said it was a move made "to stand with everyone in trying to mitigate the spread of this virus."

Explained Donald: "Before virtually anyone else in the travel and hospitality industry, we made the decision, voluntarily, to stop all our cruises. … Never before in the history of our company, of our industry, have we stopped all our ships like that. It was an enormously consequential decision that we knew would be difficult."

Added Donald: "There will be a lot of analyzing of how everybody handled their COVID-19 response. Countries, cities, businesses, transportation in general and I know we're going to look at ourselves to look at everything we did, to learn from it, to develop best practices going forward so hopefully it'll never happen again. But in the unlikely event we have to deal with something like this again, we would have learned from this one and be able to handle it even better the next time."

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line Sailings Will Resume July 25th
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line today announced that sailings will resume onboard Grand Celebration July 25th and onboard Grand Classica October 2nd. In addition, the cruise line’s renowned, award-winning Cruise & Stay Program, which lets guests extend their stay in the Bahamas for up to four nights at one of Carnival said that it ’s resort partners, will also be available for bookings beginning October 2nd. As the cruise line prepares for its anticipated return, it is putting travelers’ health and safety front and center, rolling out an extensive list of new preventative measures designed to ensure the wellness of both passengers and crew.

“As things begin to return to normal after months of quarantine, we can all use a quick getaway. When we return, our onboard experience may look a little different to our guests,” said Oneil Khosa, CEO of Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line. “The wellness of our passengers and crew members remains our top priority, and as such, passengers can expect enhanced sanitization procedures from embarkation to disembarkation so that they can enjoy a relaxing, safe, stress-free getaway. We look forward to welcoming everyone onboard soon!”

As the only cruise line that departs from the Port of Palm Beach, with the only two-night short-cruise product on the market, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line is implementing a variety of new processes to ensure the health and safety of all onboard. The new measures encompass protocols for guest accommodations, common areas onboard the ships, recreational facilities, food hygiene, and more. Highlights include:

Capacity control:

Closing two-passenger stateroom decks to reduce crowds onboard the ship:
• Limit the number of in-use staterooms to reduce onboard capacity by 40 percent :
• These protocols will encourage social distancing and provide one of the highest guests to space ratios in the industry

Embarkation and disembarkation:
• All guests required to practice social distancing from valet parking to terminal check-in
• All terminal staff members will be monitored and required to wear masks and remain behind safety plexiglass for minimal contact
• Passenger luggage will be disinfected prior to onboard delivery
• Mandatory touch-free temperature checks and pre-boarding health declarations for all guests
• Extensive sanitization and disinfection processes at entry of port terminal, ships, and passenger walkway areas
• Online check-in for guests, who will receive designated arrival times at cruise terminal to streamline embarkation and minimize crowds in Port

Guest accommodations:
• Sanitization of all cabins with hospital-grade disinfectants
• Fogging of vacant cabins and twice-daily wipe down of hallways
• Disinfection of guest bathrooms with heavy-duty alkaline cleaner
• Timely housekeeping cabin turnover with sheets and linens cleaned and disinfected at sterilizing temperatures

Common areas:

All onboard public areas will undergo a two-tier sanitization process, which includes cleansing and fogging using hospital-grade disinfectant. Frequency includes:
• Elevators every two hours
• Public areas and facilities up to ten times per day
• Frequently touched areas, including handrails, table-tops, and door handles will be sterilized every hour
• All floors will be disinfected with a heavy-duty neutral PH floor cleaning solution
• All onboard areas will include fully stocked self-service hand sanitizer stations

Food hygiene:
• All restaurants and bar areas will be cleaned and sanitized three times a day
• Self-service buffet stations have been suspended; all food and beverage will be served by crew members wearing face masks, hats, aprons, and gloves
• Tables and seating areas will keep guests six feet apart to facilitate social distancing
• Stringent procurement guidelines will be enforced, and products from certain regions will be prohibited

Entertainment and recreation:
• Theatres will be thoroughly sanitized before and after each show
• Kids’ Club facilities will be cleaned twice per day
• Spa and gym areas will be sanitized before and after each use, including common areas within these facilities twice daily
• Tour buses for excursions will be reduced to 50 percent capacity, sanitized frequently, and tour operators will be trained using guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO)
• Casino players per table will be restricted to ensure social distancing and slot machines will be positioned to separate players

Practices and standards for crew members: • Twice daily temperature checks
• All frontline crew are required to wear face masks, and all food service crew serving guests in the buffet are required to wear disposable hats, aprons, masks, and gloves
• Housekeeping and food and beverage crew are required to wear both disposable gloves and masks. The disposal of all gloves and masks will align with the CDC’s guidelines
• All crew will be required to use antibacterial hand soap for at least 20 seconds to sanitize hands
• All crew members are required to practice social distancing, and each crew member will be allocated their own cabin onboard the ships

Medical center:
• Isolated wards available in the medical center for ill guests or those who are concerned that they have been exposed to COVID-19
• Contaminated items and medical waste will be properly sealed and disposed of according to the CDC’s guidelines
• Used face masks and protective equipment will be disposed of at designated central collection points
• Medical equipment and waste bins will be thoroughly cleaned, disinfected, and washed twice daily with hospital-grade disinfectants

Fresh air ventilation system:
• Implemented a fresh air ventilation system to ensure healthy air quality in all onboard cabins and common areas
• All air filters and cooling coils will be thoroughly checked, cleaned and replaced as needed

Costa Extends Pause in Operations Until July 31
Costa announced a further pause for its cruises until 31 July 2020. The decision is linked to the uncertainty of a gradual reopening of ports to cruise ships and the restrictions that may still be in place for the movements of people due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Costa is taking steps to inform both travel agents and guests affected by the changes. They will be guaranteed a re-protection in accordance with the applicable legislation, which offers the greatest guarantee in this contingency situation.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 14.46 - 1.77%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 43.14 - 1.28%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.57 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 13.90 + 7.29%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which famous liner came to the assistance of the Andrea Doria after she was struck by the Swedish liner Stockholm in 1956?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which ship is widely acknowledged to be the first vessel designed solely for cruising? What year did she enter service?

Answer - Cunard's Caronia is widely acknowledged to be the first vessel designed solely for cruising. She entered service in 1948.
courtesy of Michael Walls


Cruise News - May 18, 2020

Silversea Prepares To Take Delivery Of New Ship Silver Origin
Silversea Cruises prepares to take delivery of new ship Silver Origin, following a great display of resilience, determination and fine European craftsmanship from Dutch shipyard De Hoop. Despite of the global lockdown, De Hoop implemented rigid safety procedures, reduced its workforce, and devised ingenious ways to overcome posed challenges, including a world-first during the ship's sea trial.

On March 15, 2020—four days after coronavirus was declared as a global pandemic—the Netherlands implemented a national lockdown, and the country ground to a halt to safeguard the health of its people. Relatively isolated in Lobith, a remote corner of the Netherlands, De Hoop shipyard offered its approximately 250 employees the option to cease working.

While many were forced to return to their families or to their country of origin before borders closed, approximately 200 employees—mainly skilled carpenters—opted to continue, working tirelessly to apply their craftsmanship to the ship's guest suites. Many employees were accommodated in an on-site residential facility, known as Barge Rossini, which had a reduced capacity from 200 to 100 for safety purposes.

In addition to the rigorous protocol imposed by the Dutch health authority, RIVM, De Hoop's professionals were protected by sanitary procedures developed by the shipyard itself: they underwent daily temperature checks; enhanced cleaning procedures were established in the living quarters, the crew mess, and throughout Silver Origin; and strict social distancing measures were implemented, including a 1.5m separation rule and a one-way system throughout the ship.

As a result, contact circles were reduced, meetings were cancelled, and fewer people were allowed in each area of the ship. Video calls replaced face-to-face conversations, as flights were cancelled and contractors could no longer reach the yard. Necessary supplies were cut off: Carpeting, loose furniture and the onboard art collection were delayed in arriving, while the closure of Italy disrupted the installation of the ship's windows and galley. The stringent lockdown threatened the project's progress.

Small hurdles became giant obstacles, but still the team persevered and as the world around it came to a stop, De Hoop shipyard pushed on. The shipyard fundamentally changed the way it operated to continue the project. None of the employees caught the virus and the team maintained an unwaveringly strong spirit as Silver Origin took its magnificent shape, symbolising the commitment and resilience of the global cruise industry.

While shallow waters on the Waal River delayed Silver Origin's float out from November to December 30, 2019, the months of January and February brought heavy rain to Western Europe in 2020, leading to unusually high water levels. This prevented Silver Origin and Barge Rossini from passing beneath the 12 bridges that separate De Hoop shipyard from the sea. Only on March 26 was a safe passage to Rotterdam accessible—more than a month later than originally planned. This left just four weeks between arrival in Rotterdam and the sea trial.

Held from April 27th–29th off the coast of Goeree-Overflakkee, Silver Origin's sea trials were a great success, offering the Captain the chance to put the ship through its paces and enabling the shipyard to demonstrate proper operation of the machinery systems.

Necessitated by the travel ban, which prevented sub-contractors from reaching the ship, Silver Origin's sea trials included a historic world-first: during the dynamic positioning acceptance test—which tests the ship's ability to remain within 10cm of a fixed point without dropping anchor—the ship's dynamic positioning system was remotely tuned and calibrated by a third party in St. Petersburg, Russia—over 1,800km away. A fast internet connection was set up on board to enable near-instant communication between both parties and, using a headset and a camera, an operative from St. Petersburg completed manoeuvring tests. The ship's Captain, meanwhile, acted as his lookout from on board.

"This was the first time such an operation has been completed remotely during a sea trial," says Fre Drenth, the Director of De Hoop Shipyard. "The tuning was successful and took no longer than usual. It demonstrates that it is possible to tune dynamic positioning systems remotely. It could potentially save a lot of travelling time for engineers in the future. I am enormously proud of my team for their work."

"We usually have a large team that participates in the sea trials, but this year was different because of the extraordinary situation," says Vesa Uuttu, Director of Newbuilds & Site Office NL, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "Hence, a limited team participated—enough to comply with regulations. It was a proud moment to see the ship perform as it did—for all involved, especially the team at De Hoop who have worked tirelessly to complete the project in these tough circumstances."

"We are so grateful to the professionals at the De Hoop shipyard," says Roberto Martinoli, Silversea's President and CEO. "In the face of such adversity, their efforts were extraordinary and represent the resilience of European industry. Silver Origin looks magnificent. Our pioneering new ship represents the dawning of a new age of travel in the Galapagos Islands and we look forward to welcoming guests aboard when the time is right."

The finishing touches are now being applied to Silver Origin, ahead of the ship's delivery in the coming weeks. And the De Hoop team is still finding innovative ways to progress, in spite of the challenging circumstances. Currently docked in Pernis in the Netherlands, Silver Origin will set sail for the Galapagos Islands after being delivered to Silversea Cruises. 45 members of De Hoop's workforce remain on Barge Rossini, and the shipyard intends on maintaining their strict new sanitary protocols for the long-term.

Silversea Cruises is using this time of pause, as well as the information that has become available, to improve its already exceptional sanitary standards further still, with the health and safety of guests and crew as the top priority. The cruise line is currently working on enhanced sanitary protocols across its fleet to ensure that all necessary precautions are in place to resume safe and healthy cruising when the time is right.

Royal Caribbean Group Provides Business Update And Reports On First Quarter 2020
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today commented on the business in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and reported on the first quarter of 2020.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in an unprecedented global response to contain the spread of the disease. As part of the global containment effort, Royal Caribbean said that it previously announced a voluntary suspension of its global cruise operation.

"Responding to the dramatic change in business conditions caused by COVID-19 has required focus, dedication, ingenuity and improvisation from all our people, and their efforts have been nonstop," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO. "We understand that when our ships return to service, they will be sailing in a changed world. How well we anticipate and solve for this new environment will play a critical role in keeping our guests and crew safe and healthy, as well as position our business and that of our travel agent partners to return to growth."

As Royal Caribbean finishes repatriating crew members to their home countries, the Company's future focus now turns to four key principles:

• Ensuring the safety of guests and crew

• Proactively enhancing liquidity

• Protecting the Company's brands, and

• Defining and preparing for a "new normal."

Royal Caribbean said that it has engaged the services of distinguished external experts in relevant fields, including public health, epidemiology, design and sanitation, to bring additional expertise to its internal teams that are envisioning Royal Caribbean's new standards and procedures for its return to service strategy.

Update on Bookings

Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, Royal Caribbean said that it started the year in a strong booked position and at higher prices on a prior year comparable basis. Given the impact of COVID-19, booking volumes for the remainder of 2020 are meaningfully lower than the same time last year at prices that are down low-single digits. Although still early in the booking cycle, the booked position for 2021 is within historical ranges when compared to same time last year with 2021 prices up mid-single digits compared to 2020.

Royal Caribbean said that it has implemented various programs in order to best serve its booked guests providing the choice of future cruise credits in lieu of providing cash refunds for both cancelled sailings and future bookings. As of April 30, 2020, approximately 45% of the guests booked on cancelled sailings have requested cash refunds. Additionally, as of March 31, 2020, Royal Caribbean said that it had $2.4 billion in customer deposits. Royal Caribbean said that it also continues to take future bookings for 2020, 2021 and 2022, and receive new customer deposits and final payments on these bookings.

Update on Liquidity Actions and Ongoing Uses of Cash

Since the last earnings call, and given the challenges posed by the suspension of its global cruise operation, Royal Caribbean said that it has taken significant actions to enhance its liquidity, preserve cash and secure additional financing. These actions include reducing operating expenses; reducing or deferring capital spend; and increasing its available cash position through various financing sources. Among these efforts, Royal Caribbean said that it highlighted an approximate $4.0 billion increase in additional financing through a secured bond issuance and increased revolver capacity; a $3.0 billion reduction in its 2020 capital expenditures, a $0.8 billion 12-month debt amortization holiday from certain export-credit backed facilities, and a substantial reduction in its operating expenses due to the fleet layup and significant actions to meaningfully decrease Royal Caribbean's sales, marketing and administrative expenses.

"We have taken swift and substantial actions to bolster our financial position by significantly reducing our operating and capital spend and leveraging our strong balance sheet to raise additional capital," said Jason T. Liberty, executive vice president and CFO.

Royal Caribbean said that it estimates its cash burn to be, on average, in the range of approximately $250 million to $275 million per month during a prolonged suspension of operations. This range includes ongoing ship operating expenses, administrative expenses, debt service expense, hedging costs, expected necessary capital expenditures (net of committed financings in the case of newbuilds) and excludes cash refunds of customer deposits as well as cash inflows from new and existing bookings. Royal Caribbean said that it is considering ways to further reduce the average monthly requirement under a further prolonged out-of-service scenario and during start-up of operations.

Liquidity and Financing Arrangements

As of April 30, 2020, Royal Caribbean said that it had liquidity of approximately $2.3 billion all in the form of cash and cash equivalents. On May 19, 2020, Royal Caribbean said that it completed its $3.3 billion senior secured notes offering, improving Royal Caribbean's liquidity position by approximately $1.0 billion.

Royal Caribbean said that it noted that as of May 19, 2020, the expected debt maturities for the remainder of 2020 and 2021, are $0.4 billion and $0.9 billion, respectively.

Capital Expenditures

Since the last earnings call, Royal Caribbean said that it has identified approximately $3.0 billion and $1.4 billion of capital expenditure reductions or deferrals in 2020 and 2021, respectively. The projected capital expenditures for the remainder of 2020 and 2021 are $0.5 billion and $2.1 billion, respectively. Royal Caribbean said that it continues to evaluate ways to further reduce these expenditures.

Royal Caribbean said that it believes COVID-19 has impacted shipyard operations and will result in delivery delays of ships previously planned for delivery in 2020 and 2021.

First Quarter 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Royal Caribbean said that it suspended its global cruise operation starting on March 13, 2020, which resulted in the cancellation of 130 sailings during the first quarter and a consequent reduction in capacity of approximately 20.0% vs. guidance and 17.0% vs. the same time last year

Royal Caribbean said that it reported US GAAP Net Loss for the first quarter of 2020 of $(1.4) billion or $(6.91) per share compared to US GAAP Net Income of $249.7 million or $1.19 per share in the prior year. The 2020 results include a non-cash asset impairment loss of $1.1 billion. Royal Caribbean said that it reported Adjusted Net Loss of $(310.4) million or $(1.48) per share compared to Adjusted Net Income of $275.8 million or $1.31 per share in the prior year. The Net Loss for the quarter is a result of the COVID-19 pandemic on the business.

2020 Outlook

On March 10, 2020, Royal Caribbean said that it withdrew its first quarter and full-year 2020 guidance. The magnitude, duration and speed of COVID-19 remains uncertain. As a consequence, Royal Caribbean said that it cannot estimate the impact of COVID-19 on its business, financial condition or near or longer-term financial or operational results with reasonable certainty. Royal Caribbean said that it expects to incur a net loss on both a US GAAP and adjusted basis for its second quarter and the 2020 fiscal year; the extent of which will depend on the timing and extent of our return to service.

Interest expense for the remainder of the year (April 1, 2020 through December 31,2020) will be in the range of $590 million to $610 million.

As of March 31, 2020, Royal Caribbean said that it had hedged approximately 60%, 39%, 23% and 5% of its total projected metric tons of fuel consumption for the remainder of 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023, respectively. For the same four-year period, the annual average cost per metric ton of the hedge portfolio is approximately $433, $435, $514 and $580, respectively.

Norwegian Cancels All July Sailings
Norwegian Cruise Line said that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is extending its operations pause through July 31, cancelling all July departures across its fleet.

In a statement the cruise line said "Your safety is our #1 priority—both on and off our ships. Due to the current global environment, we are extending the suspension of all sailings across our fleet through July 31, 2020. We are thinking of each and every one of you, and together we will return to our favorite place — the ocean, stronger than ever."

Guests will receive a future cruise credit of 125% to 150% for cruises that were set to leave between March 18 and July 31. The credit can be applied to any Norwegian sailing through the end of 2022,

The company also announced that is is offering a 20% discount on any cruises booked by May 31, 2020, using a Future Cruise Credit.

Viking Cruises Ltd Announces Pricing of Private Offering of $675 Million of Senior Secured Notes
Viking Cruises Ltd ("Viking") today announced that it has priced its private offering of $675 million aggregate principal amount of 13.000% Senior Secured Notes due 2025 (the "Notes"). The offering of the Notes is expected to close on May 15, 2020, subject to customary closing conditions.

Viking intends to use the net proceeds from the Notes, after funding the repayment of $74 million of existing debt and accrued interest on certain river vessels, for general corporate purposes.

The Notes are being offered only to persons reasonably believed to be "qualified institutional buyers" as defined in Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"), and to certain non-U.S. persons outside the United States under Regulation S under the Securities Act. The Notes have not been, and will not be, registered under the Securities Act and may not be offered or sold without registration unless pursuant to an exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the Securities Act and all applicable state laws. This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any of the Notes, nor does it constitute an offer, solicitation or sale in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale is unlawful.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 14.72 + 6.28%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 43.70 + 14.79%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.57 + 14.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 12.88 + 9.80%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which ship is widely acknowledged to be the first vessel designed solely for cruising? What year did she enter service?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the name of the cruise ship that caught fire during a Christmas cruise in 1963 and sank six days later?

Answer - It was the Lakonia from the Greek Line. The ship was purchased from the Nederland Line as Johan van Oldenbarnevelt
courtesy of Hans-Peter Lemcke-Braselmann


Cruise News - May 11, 2020

Royal Caribbean Group Provides Business Update
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today provided a business update and the Company's response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"These are unprecedented times for all of us. Travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders are important to slowing the spread of the virus, but they have severely impacted our operations," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO. "We are taking decisive actions to prioritize the safety of our guests and crew while protecting our fleet and bolstering liquidity."

COVID-19 Related Suspension

The outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in an unprecedented global response to contain the spread of the disease. These global efforts have resulted in travel restrictions and created significant uncertainty regarding worldwide port closures and availability. As part of the global containment effort, the Company previously announced a voluntary suspension of its global cruise operations from March 13 through at least June 11, 2020. Continued disruptions to travel and port operations in various regions may result in further suspensions.

"Our top priority is to ensure the safety of our guests and crew during the suspension period and when we resume operations," said Mr. Fain. "The Company's fleet is now either in port or at anchor and we have developed strict protocols to protect our crew that is still onboard our ships."

The Company has been developing a comprehensive and multi-faceted program to address the unique public health challenges posed by COVID-19. This includes, among other things, enhanced screening, upgraded cleaning and disinfection protocols and plans for social distancing. The Company will continue to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, global public health authorities and national and local governments to enhance measures to protect the health, safety and security of guests, crew and the communities visited when we are out of service and once operations resume.

Update on Bookings

Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, the Company started the year in a strong booked position and at higher prices on a prior year comparable basis. Given the impact of COVID-19, booking volumes for the remainder of 2020 are meaningfully lower than the same time last year at prices that are down low-single digits. Due to the suspension in sailings, booking trends reflect elevated cancellations for 2020 and more typical levels for 2021 and beyond. Although still early in the booking cycle, the booked position for 2021 is within historical ranges when compared to same time last year with 2021 prices up mid-single digits compared to 2020.

The Company has instituted several programs in order to best serve its guests: for cancelled cruises, guests are offered the choice of future cruise credits valued at 125% of the initial cruise fare paid in lieu of providing cash refunds. As of April 30, 2020, approximately 45% of the guests have requested cash refunds. For non-cancelled cruises, the Company has implemented a "Cruise with Confidence" policy.

As of March 31, 2020, the Company had $2.4 billion in customer deposits. This includes approximately $0.8 billion of future cruise credits related to previously announced voyage cancellations through June 11, 2020.

The Company also continues to take future bookings for 2020, 2021 and 2022, and receive new customer deposits and final payments on these bookings.

Update on Recent Liquidity Actions and Ongoing Uses of Cash

"Since late January, we have undertaken several proactive measures to mitigate the financial and operational impacts of COVID-19." said Jason T. Liberty, executive vice president and CFO. "Our focus is on bolstering liquidity through significant cost cutting, capital spend reductions, and other cash conservation measures. In addition, the Company is considering additional financing sources. We continue to evaluate all options available to us to further enhance liquidity."

As of April 30, 2020, the Company had liquidity of approximately $2.3 billion all in the form of cash and cash equivalents. On May 4, 2020 Carnival said that it increased the 364-day senior secured credit facility and drew $150 million, further enhancing the Company's liquidity profile.

Reduced Operating Expenses

The Company has taken significant actions to reduce operating expenses during the suspension of its global cruise operations:

• Significantly reduced ship operating expenses, including crew payroll, food, fuel, insurance and port charges

• The Company's ships are currently transitioning into various levels of layup with several ships in the fleet transitioning into cold layup, further reducing operating expenses

• Eliminated or significantly reduced marketing and selling expenses for the remainder of 2020

• Reduced workforce by approximately 26 percent of more than 5,000 shoreside employees in the US

• Suspended travel for shoreside employees and instituted hiring freeze across the organization. The Company estimates that its average ongoing ship operating expenses and administrative expenses is approximately $150 million to $170 million per month during the suspension of operations. The Company may seek to further reduce this average monthly requirement under a prolonged non-revenue scenario.

Reduced Capital Expenditures

Since the last earnings call, the Company has identified approximately $3.0 billion and $1.4 billion of capital expenditure reductions or deferrals in 2020 and 2021, respectively. The 2020 reductions and deferrals are comprised of:

• $1.2 billion, of non-newbuild, discretionary capital expenditures and

• $1.8 billion in reduced spend or deferred installment payments for newbuild related payments which the Company is currently finalizing.

The Company believes COVID-19 has impacted shipyard operations and will result in delivery delays of ships previously planned for delivery in 2020 and 2021.

Debt Maturities, New Financings and Other Liquidity Actions

Since the last earnings call, the Company has taken several additional actions to further improve its liquidity position and manage cash flow:

• Increased the capacity under its revolving credit facilities by $0.6 billion, and fully drew on both facilities

• Entered into a $2.35 billion 364-day senior secured credit facility with an option to extend (secured by 28 ships with a net book value of approximately $12 billion as of March 31, 2020)

• Obtained a $0.8 billion, 12-month debt amortization and financial covenant holiday from certain export-credit backed facilities

• Amended its non-export-credit backed bank facilities to incorporate a 12-month financial covenant holiday

• Agreed with its lenders that it will not pay dividends or engage in stock repurchases.

As of May 5, 2020, expected debt maturities for the remainder of 2020 and 2021 are $0.4 billion and $0.9 billion, respectively.

The Company estimates its cash burn to be, on average, in the range of approximately $250 million to $275 million per month during a suspension of operations. This range includes ongoing ship operating expenses, administrative expenses, and debt service expense, hedging costs, expected necessary capital expenditures (net of committed financings in the case of newbuilds) and excludes cash refunds of customer deposits as well as cash inflows from new and existing bookings. The Company is considering ways to further reduce the average monthly requirement under a prolonged out-of-service scenario and during start-up of operations.

The Company continues to identify and evaluate further actions to improve its liquidity. These include and are not limited to: further reductions in capital expenditures, operating expenses and administrative costs and additional financings.

On March 10, 2020, the Company withdrew its first quarter and full-year 2020 guidance. The magnitude, duration and speed of COVID-19 remains uncertain. As a consequence, we cannot estimate the impact of COVID-19 on our business, financial condition or near or longer-term financial or operational results with reasonable certainty, but we expect to incur a net loss on both a US GAAP and adjusted basis for the first quarter ended March 31, 2020 and the 2020 fiscal year; the extent of which will depend on the timing and extent of our return to service.

Seabourn Extends Pause To Global Ship Operations
Seabourn, the world's finest ultra-luxury travel experience, announced today that it will extend the voluntary pause of global operations for its five cruise ships.

The pause will apply to each of Seabourn's five ships differently with each having a different "effective through" date in either October or November. Specific details are as follows:

• Seabourn Odyssey: paused through the Europe season, with its operations pause effective through November 20.

• Seabourn Sojourn: paused through Alaska/British Columbia season, with its operations pause effective through October 13.

• Seabourn Quest: paused through the Canada/New England season, with its operations pause effective through November 6.

• Seabourn Encore: paused through the Europe season, with its operations pause effective through October 19.

• Seabourn Ovation: paused through Europe season, with its operations pause effective through November 6.

The brand had previously announced a pause in its global ship operations from March 14 – June 30, 2020, effectively cancelling all voyages scheduled to operate during that timeframe. The decision to cancel additional voyages is a proactive response to the unpredictable circumstances continuing to evolve from the global response to the COVID-19 situation.

"We know travelers, as well as our past guests, are thinking about and looking forward to traveling based on a lot of information we are seeing lately. With many cruise ports still closed, destinations opening in phases, and airline capacity limited, a continuation of our pause gives us additional time to prepare for our eventual return to service," said Rick Meadows, president of Seabourn. "When we resume and social gathering is acceptable once again, we will do so with the health and safety of our guests, crew and the people in each of the destinations we visit as a priority, just as it has been throughout our history."

Seabourn will be communicating changes for voyages scheduled to depart in the extension window with all booked guests and their travel advisors.

Guests Automatically Receive Future Cruise Credit

Guests with impacted cruises will automatically be cancelled, and all guests will receive a Future Cruise Credit as follows:

• Paid in Full: those guests paid in full will receive 125% Future Cruise Credit of the base cruise fare paid to Seabourn.

• Under Deposit: those guests with bookings under deposit will receive a Future Cruise Credit valued at 125% of the deposit amount paid, plus an onboard credit of $300 per suite.

The Future Cruise Credit is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and may be used to book sailings departing through Dec. 31, 2022. The amount of non-cruise fare purchases may be transferred to a new booking to be used in any manner selected by the guest. Alternatively, guests may request a refund of the monies paid to Seabourn, which will be reimbursed to the original form of payment.

Guests and their travel advisors will be sent specific details applicable to their booking. Seabourn asks guests and travel advisors to use the online resources available on its website first rather than calling the Reservation Call Center for information about the cancellations due to the possibility of high call volumes and the potential of long on-hold wait times.

Holland America Line Extends its Pause of Cruise Operations
With travel restrictions continuing for the near future due to global health concerns, Holland America Line has decided to extend its pause of global cruise operations and cancel all Alaska, Europe and Canada/New England cruises for 2020.

In addition, Amsterdam will not operate the 79-day Grand Africa Voyage from Boston, Massachusetts, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, that was scheduled to depart on Oct. 3, 2020. Holland America Line had previously cancelled all 2020 Land+Sea Journeys, which combine an Alaska cruise with an overland tour to Denali and the Yukon.

"As we continue to navigate through these unprecedented and challenging times, the best decision right now is to extend our pause in cruise operations into the fall," said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. "While this is very disappointing and we never want to let our guests down, as soon as it makes sense we will be back cruising again, giving our guests the memorable travel experiences they continue to dream about."

All guests, or their travel advisors, will automatically be notified if their cruise departure has been cancelled.

Guests Automatically Receive Future Cruise Credit

Those with impacted cruises will automatically be cancelled, and all guests will receive a Future Cruise Credit per person as follows:

• Paid in Full: Those who had paid in full will receive 125% Future Cruise Credit of the base cruise fare paid to Holland America Line.

• Not Paid in Full: Those with bookings not paid in full will receive a Future Cruise Credit of double the amount of the deposit paid for the cruise. The minimum Future Cruise Credit is $100 and the maximum will be an amount up to the base cruise fare paid.

The Future Cruise Credit is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and may be used to book sailings departing through Dec. 31, 2022. All other funds paid to Holland America Line may be transferred to a new booking or will automatically be refunded via the method of payment used to purchase the services.

Full Refund Option Also Available

Guests who prefer a 100% refund of monies paid to Holland America Line can visit the Cancellation Preferences form to indicate this preference no later than June 15, 2020. This includes Holland?America?Line's Flight Ease air, Cancellation Protection Plan, Holland?America?Line pre- or post-cruise hotel packages or transfers, prepaid shore excursions and amenities purchased through Holland?America?Line, and taxes, fees and port?expenses.

Due to the unprecedented volume of bookings impacted by cancellations, Holland America Line asks for guests' patience and understanding regarding the time needed to work through processing refunds and FCCs.

The above options are not applicable to guests booked on a charter sailing. Other booking and cancellation conditions and policies may?apply if the cruise was not booked through Holland America Line. See the terms and conditions at the Cancellation Preferences form for all details.

Recognizing the vital role travel advisors play in the success of the cruise industry, Holland America Line will protect travel advisor commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full and for the total amount of the Future Cruise Credits when their clients rebook.

Holland America Line will continue to monitor the global health situation and evaluate the best time to begin sailing again. Additional details will be shared as they are available.

Rick Meadows Retires From Seabourn And Carnival Corporation After 35 Years Of Service
Today the cruise line announced that after 35 dedicated years with Carnival Corporation, Richard Meadows will be retiring from Seabourn at the end of May. Seabourn, the ultra-luxury brand in the Carnival Corporation family of brands, recently announced it was extending its pause in global cruise operations until mid-October through late November, depending on the ship.

Meadows is currently president of Seabourn and in this role has overall executive responsibility, leading all business and global operations for the award-winning luxury cruise line. He has held this position since 2011, when Carnival said that it moved its headquarters to Seattle from Miami.

"I've had so many amazing opportunities throughout my career, passionately leading a number of global cruise brands as well as working with so many talented team members, travel advisors and other stakeholders around the world," said Meadows. "It has been a true honor to help craft those lifetime memories and special moments for our guests, through the profound power of travel, which brings people and cultures together. I look forward to the day when we can once again welcome our guests back on board."

Stein Kruse, Group CEO of the Holland America Group and Carnival UK into which Meadows reports added, "Rick's contributions to the cruise industry and his leadership in elevating Seabourn to the ultimate ultra-luxury cruise experience, bar none -- are legendary. He will forever be part of our Carnival Corporation story and he has made us all better through his professionalism, authenticity and leadership."

Between 2014 and 2016, Meadows also served in an additional leadership role as president of Cunard – North America, and assumed operating responsibility for the iconic Cunard brand throughout the North American continent.

Prior to his appointment at Cunard, Meadows was in a dual-capacity role, serving as both president of Seabourn and executive vice president of Marketing, Sales and Guest Programs for Holland America Line, where he had global revenue responsibility.

Among his previous roles, he was senior vice president of Sales and Marketing for Seabourn; vice president of Corporate Marketing at Carnival Corporation; and vice president of Sales and Marketing with Windstar Cruises, a former subsidiary of Holland America Line. He also served as director of sales for Carnival Cruise Lines, beginning his career with Carnival Corporation in 1985.

Orlando Ashford to Leave Holland America Line After More than Five Years
Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford announced that he will be leaving Carnival said that it at the end of May. Ashford, who heads the premium cruise line within the Carnival Corporation family of brands, has been at Carnival said that it for nearly five and half years and led a rejuvenation of the brand through an emphasis on enhanced onboard entertainment, live music and culinary experiences.

Since November 2014, Ashford has served as president of Holland America Line, leading the award-winning cruise line's brand and business, including its fleet of 14 premium vessels which carry more than 900,000 guests annually to all seven continents. He oversaw Holland America Line's sales and marketing, revenue management, deployment and itinerary planning, public relations, hotel operations and strategy. Recently he has guided Carnival said that it through an unprecedented pause in global cruise operations that have been extended through the line's planned 2020 Alaska, Europe and Canada/New England sailing seasons.

"Orlando has made a substantial contribution to Holland America Line during his tenure, bringing a renewed energy to the premium cruise line that was recognized with many awards and accolades," said Stein Kruse, Group CEO of Holland America Group and Carnival UK. "His unique background as an innovator and global leader in human resources was highly respected in our organization and his dynamism will be greatly missed."

"It has been an honor and a privilege to lead the evolution of the Holland America Line brand for more than five years," said Ashford. "I can't say enough about the talent and teamwork both shoreside and on board the ships that has driven our many successes over the years.

"Today, a global pandemic has impacted our industry in ways that are completely unprecedented," added Ashford. "However, I believe it is human nature to travel and explore new places and cultures and meet new people. I have no doubt that Holland America Line will thrive again soon, and its guests will be ready when cruise operations resume. I look forward to being one of the first to sail."

Prior to joining Holland America Line, Ashford was president of the Talent Business Segment for Mercer, the global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments. Previous to Mercer he served as senior vice president, chief human resources and communications officer of Mercer's parent company, Marsh & McLennan Companies. Ashford also has held several other leadership roles earlier in his career with organizations such as Coca-Cola, Motorola, Ameritech and Andersen Consulting.

Norwegian Cruise Line Opens for Sale a Year's Worth of Aspirational Voyages
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel with a 53-year history of breaking boundaries, today announced that is has opened more than a year of wish-list worthy sailings for 2021 through 2023, with voyages to over 20 new destinations across all seven continents.

Among the notable itineraries are:

• Norwegian Star’s first voyage to Antarctica beginning in 2021 when she sails from Buenos Aires, Argentina for a season of 14-day Extraordinary Journeys, visiting five ports of call across Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and the Falkland Islands, including a majestic sailing by Deception Island and Elephant Island/Cape Lookout.

• Norwegian Star’s March 2022 South America sailing when she will become the first in the fleet to visit Fortaleza and Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, during a 15-day itinerary departing from Rio de Janeiro.

• Norwegian Star’s July 14 and July 25, 2022 Northern European sailings, when she will make the brand’s debut in Greenland with calls to Nuuk, Qaqortoq and Nanortalik during two back-to-back 10-and -11-day sailings from Reykjavik, Iceland.

• Norwegian Jade’s 12-day Extraordinary Journey sailings from December 2021 through January 2022, when she will make Norwegian Cruise Line history as the first ship to offer roundtrip cruises from Cape Town, South Africa. The voyages will include visits to Luderitz and Walvis Bay, Namibia; Durban, and will feature overnight calls in Cape Town and Richard’s Bay, South Africa.

• Norwegian Sun’s November 2021 sailing, when she will make her Asia debut and will become the first in the fleet to visit the exotic destinations of Nagoya, Beppu and Himeji Japan; Manila and Coron, Philippines; Kota Kinabalu and Melaka, Malaysia; Muara, Brunei and Kampot, Cambodia.

“The just-announced itineraries for 2021 through 2023 are designed to provide guests with vacations of a lifetime,” said Harry Sommer, Norwegian Cruise Line president and chief executive officer. “At this moment, we are in our respective corners of the world destination daydreaming. We wanted to use this time to provide our loyal guests with the best-of-the-best itineraries. We’ll set sail to more than 20 new incredible destinations including Antarctica, Greenland and South Africa while also sailing to the over 300 destinations our guests have come to love. This time around, we’re giving our guests more time to plan their long-awaited vacations as well as additional extraordinary ports-of-call. We can’t wait for them to experience these vacations of a lifetime.”

Among the new destinations featured in the itineraries are:
· Elephant Island, Antarctica (No disembarkation) – January 2021 (Norwegian Star)
· Deception Island, Antarctica (No disembarkation) – January 2021 (Norwegian Star)
· Nagoya, Japan – November 2021 (Norwegian Sun)v · Beppu, Japan – November 2021 (Norwegian Sun)
· Durban, South Africa – December 2021 (Norwegian Jade)
· Luderitz, Namibia – December 2021 (Norwegian Jade)
· Walvis Bay, Namibia – December 2021 (Norwegian Jade)
· Timaru, New Zealand – December 2021 (Norwegian Spirit)
· Manila, Philippines – February 2022 (Norwegian Sun)
· Coron, Philippines – February 2022 (Norwegian Sun)
· Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia – February 2022 (Norwegian Sun
· Muara, Brunei Darussalam – February 2022 (Norwegian Sun)
· Melaka, Malaysia – February 2022 (Norwegian Sun)
· Miyakojima (Okinawa), Japan – March 2022 (Norwegian Sun)
· Himeji, Japan – March 2022 (Norwegian Sun)
· Fortaleza, Brazil – March 2022 (Norwegian Star)
· Salvador de Bahia, Brazil – March 2022 (Norwegian Star)
· Nuuk, Greenland – July 2022 (Norwegian Star)
· Qaqortoq, Greenland – July 2022 (Norwegian Star)
· Nanortalik, Greenland – July 2022 (Norwegian Star)
· Yangon, Myanmar – November 2022 (Norwegian Spirit)
· Maputo, Mozambique – January 2023 (Norwegian Jade)
· Kampot, Cambodia – January 2023 (Norwegian Sun)

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 13.85 - 3.42%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 38.07 - 7.98%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.50 - 3.85%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 11.73 - 18.77%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the name of the cruise ship that caught fire during a Christmas cruise in 1963 and sank six days later?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the first new North Atlantic liner built after World War II?

Answer - The first new North Atlantic liner built after World War II was the Stockholm.
courtesy of Timothy Edgecombe - Vancouver


Cruise News - May 4, 2020

Carnival Announces Additional Cruise Cancellations And Potential Date For Resumption Of Service

Carnival Cruise Line advised guests and travel agents today that it has cancelled additional cruises through August 31 with the exception of eight ships from Miami, Port Canaveral and Galveston that could potentially operate if it was determined that cruising can resume.

The key elements of this plan include:

• All North American cruises from June 27 to July 31 will be cancelled.

• Beginning August 1, we may operate cruises on the following ships:
   - Galveston: Carnival Dream, Carnival Freedom and Carnival Vista
   - Miami: Carnival Horizon, Carnival Magic and Carnival Sensation
   - Port Canaveral: Carnival Breeze and Carnival Elation.

• Other than the above referenced service from Galveston, Miami, and Port Canaveral, all other North American and Australian homeport cruises will be cancelled through August 31.

• All Carnival Spirit Alaskan cruises from Seattle will be cancelled, as well as the Carnival Spirit Vancouver-Honolulu cruise on September 25 and the Honolulu-Brisbane transpacific cruise on October 6.

• All Carnival Splendor cruises in Australia from June 19 to August 31 will be cancelled.

Carnival reiterated that any resumption of cruise operations – whenever that may be – is fully dependent on company's continued efforts in cooperation with federal, state, local and international government officials. Carnival said that it is committed to supporting all public health efforts to manage the COVID-19 situation. They said that they are taking a measured approach, focusing on the potential for sailing from a select number of homeports where they have more significant operations that are easily accessible by car for the majority of their guests.

Impacted guests and their travel advisors are being notified by email, including options for a combined future cruise credit (FCC) and onboard credit (OBC) package, or a full refund. Booked guests can make their selection online, alleviating the need to contact Carnival’s customer service center, which is still operating in a work-from-home status due to locally-imposed office closures in South Florida.

Carnival said that it will use this additional time to continue to engage experts, government officials and stakeholders on additional protocols and procedures to protect the health and safety of its guests, crew and the communities they serve. In a statement Carnival said that it appreciates the understanding and support of its guests and travel agent partners and looks forward to welcoming them on board as the environment for travel and tourism improves.

Princess Cruises Extends Pause of Global Ship Operations For Remaining 2020 Summer Season

Due to reduced air flight availability, the closure of cruise ports in regions around the world and other factors impacting international travel, Princess Cruises is extending its pause of global ship operations and has therefore made the extremely difficult decision to cancel select cruises through the end of the 2020 summer season, including the following cruises and associated cruisetours:

• All remaining Alaska cruises on Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess

• All remaining Europe and Transatlantic cruises on Enchanted Princess, Regal Princess, Sky Princess, Crown Princess and Island Princess

• Summer Caribbean cruises and all Canada & New England cruises on Caribbean Princess and Sky Princess

• Summer to Fall cruises departing from Japan on Diamond Princess

• Australia-based cruises on Sapphire Princess and Sea Princess through August

• July cruises sailing from Taiwan on Majestic Princess

• Fall cruises sailing to Hawaii and French Polynesia on Pacific Princess through November

"As the world is still preparing to resume travel, it is with much disappointment that we announce an extension of our pause of global ship operations and the cancellation of cruise vacations for our loyal guests," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. "Among other disruptions, airlines have limited their flight availability and many popular cruise ports are closed. It saddens us to think about the impact on the livelihood of our teammates, business partners and the communities we visit."

Guests currently booked on these canceled voyages, who have paid Princess in full, will have the option to receive a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional bonus FCC equal to 25% of the cruise fare.

For guests who have not paid in full, Princess will Double the Deposit, providing a refundable FCC for the money currently on deposit plus a matching bonus FCC that can be used on any voyage through May 1, 2022. The matching bonus FCC will not exceed the base cruise fare amount of the currently booked cruise and will have a minimum value of $100 per person.

In order to receive the above FCC no action is required.

Alternatively, guests can request a full refund for all monies paid on their booking through this online form. Requests must be received by June 15, 2020, or they will receive the refundable Future Cruise Credit option.

Royal Caribbean Extending its “Cruise with Confidence” Cancellation Policy Through April 2022
To provide peace of mind in vacation planning, Royal Caribbean Group is extending its “Cruise with Confidence” cancellation policy to sailings through April 2022.

For new and existing bookings created by August 1, 2020, guests have the flexibility to cancel their cruise up to 48 hours prior to sailing and receive a full credit of the cruise fare for a future cruise through April 2022. The cruise company has also enhanced Cruise with Confidence with new rebooking options. The updates now available to travelers and their travel advisors include:

• “Best Price Guarantee”: Guests can choose to change the price and promotional offer on their reservation up to 48 hours before their cruise.

• “Lift and Shift”: For ease and as close as 48 hours prior to sailing, travelers have the option to simply “lift and shift” their cruise to the same itinerary departing on a future date. The original price and promotional offer on the reservation will be protected, along with the length of the cruise and stateroom category.

“Guests are reacting positively to our Cruise with Confidence policy,” says RCL chairman and CEO Richard Fain, “because it enables them to make informed decisions and to better manage complicated travel plans during this unprecedented time of uncertainty.”

Cruise with Confidence applies to both existing cruise bookings and those made by August 1, 2020. In addition to easing concerns of booked guests, Fain says the policy enhances consumer confidence to schedule new bookings, knowing last-minute travel adjustments are allowed.

“We want our guests to feel they can safely keep their existing cruise bookings or schedule new sailings,” says Fain, “because this policy gives them more freedom and flexibility.”

The policy applies to all cruises with sailing dates on or before April 2022 and across Carnival said that it ’s global brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara. For individual brand policy details, including information on Silversea’s policy, please visit the cruise lines’ websites

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 14.34 + 10.48%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 41.37 + 4.81%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.52 + 5.05%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 14.44 + 26.22%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the first new North Atlantic liner built after World War II?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the first new North Atlantic liner built after World War II?

Answer - The first new North Atlantic liner built after World War II was the Stockholm.
courtesy of Timothy Edgecombe - Vancouver


Cruise News - April 27, 2020

Carnival Cruise Line Utilizing Its Ships To Return Crew Members Home
Eighteen Carnival Cruise Line ships will rendezvous in The Bahamas over the next several days as the final plans are put in place to sail nine of the ships to repatriate more than 10,000 healthy crew members who remain on board due to restrictions limiting air travel to Asia, Africa, Europe, India and Latin America.

The ships have been at various U.S. homeports provisioning supplies and bunkering fuel for their journeys. Certain crew will join ships using water shuttles off the coast of The Bahamas. Once completed, nine ships will sail to their destinations with crew members from North American-based ships on board. The remaining nine ships will spend most of their time in anchorage positions in The Bahamas or Panama and eventually all ships will reduce their crew numbers to safe operational manning levels.

“The safety and well-being of our team members continues to be a top priority. Given the pause in our operations, we are committed to getting our crew members safely home to their families. We sincerely thank them for their hard work, patience and understanding during this process. We would also like to thank the government of The Bahamas for their support of this operation, as well as the CDC, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and local port agencies,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

Crew members who will be returning home have undergone a health check and cleared fit for travel by Carnival’s medical team. The company has been working closely with immigration officials in arriving countries on an efficient debarkation process. All crew members have their temperature taken daily and will do so again during the debarkation process, and follow enhanced operational protocols to ensure the health and safety of the crew.

Prior to Carnival’s pause in operations on March 13, its fleet of 27 ships had nearly 29,000 crew members on board. Since that time, Carnival has already repatriated more than 10,000 crew via flights and another 10,000 will be traveling on the nine voyages leaving this week. Approximately 6,000 additional crew will be repatriated by air charters or three ships that already departed from Australia and Long Beach. By the time all these movements are completed, the Carnival fleet will be down to approximately 3,000 crew members identified for safe operational manning, plus several hundred that will be repatriated as quickly as possible.

Cunard Extends Pause to Voyages
Cunard announced today that, as a result of the continued impact of Covid-19, it will be extending the pause to voyages.

For its ships Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, Cunard is cancelling all sailings that were due to depart up to and including July 31, 2020. For Queen Elizabeth, the cruise line has taken the practical decision to cancel the entire Alaska season and all departures up to and including September 8, 2020.

"These are extraordinary times and this global outbreak continues to challenge Cunard and the travel industry as a whole," said Simon Palethorpe, President, Cunard. "We would love nothing more than to bring our fleet back in to service, and give our guests the holidays they deserve and long for, but with the lockdowns and travel restrictions in place around the world, this is simply not possible at this time."

"We have been sailing for 180 years and we look forward to many more," he added. "We will get through these tough times together and look forward to welcoming our guests back on board again when the time is right."

Cunard will be communicating with all guests, and their travel advisors, who are booked on affected voyages.

As Cunard has done previously during this pause period, guests who are booked on cancelled voyages will automatically be given a 125% Future Cruise Credit or have an option of a full refund. This may be used on any sailing before the end of March 2022, and the booking must be made by December 31, 2021. Guests may now also use their Future Cruise Credit for a second cabin to bring friends or family or to upgrade an existing booking. Full details of the changes to operations and options available to guests due to travel on cancelled voyages, can be found at www.cunard.com.

Disney Cruise Line Extends Suspension of Operations
Disney Cruise Line has cancelled all departures through June 18, 2020, Disney Magic sailings through July 2, 2020 and Vancouver sailings through the end of June 2020, according to a statement.

Disney Cruise Line has suspended:

• All new departures of the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy through Thursday, June 18, 2020.

• All Disney Magic sailings through Thursday, July 2, 2020.

• All departures on the Disney Wonder through June, given that neither the Port of Vancouver nor an alternate homeport is available.

Guests currently booked on affected sailings will be offered the choice of a cruise credit to be used for a future sailing within 15 months of their original sail date or a full refund. These Guests and travel agents will receive an email from Disney Cruise Line outlining details and next steps.

Guests who booked their reservation through a travel agent should contact them directly with any questions.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Announces Extension of Suspension of Voyages
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings today announced an extension of its previously announced suspension of global cruise voyages to include voyages embarking between May 11 and June 30, 2020 for its three cruise brands: Norwegian, Oceania and Regent.

“We are committed to taking all appropriate actions to combat the spread of COVID-19 and as such, have extended our global voyage suspension through June 30. We continue to work closely and in partnership with the U.S. CDC, global public health authorities and local, state and federal governments to build upon our already rigorous health and safety protocols to ensure that our brands are ready to safely resume operations with these new protocols in place,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. “Our teams are working around the clock to do what is right by our loyal guests and valued travel partners and we greatly appreciate their understanding as we continue to adapt to the ever-evolving global health environment.”

Guests who are currently booked on voyages with embarkation dates between May 11 and June 30, 2020 on Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises or Regent Seven Seas Cruises are asked to contact their travel agent or the cruise line for more information.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 12.98 + 6.22%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 39.47 + 9.67%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.495 - 2.94%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 11.44 - 0.44%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the first new North Atlantic liner built after World War II?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What is the largest twin-screw ocean liner ever built?

Answer - The Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth 2 is the largest twin-screw ocean liner ever built. Built as a steam ship she entered service in 1969 and was converted to diesel-electric power in 1986-1987. QE2 is the longest serving ocean liner for Cunard.
courtesy of Larry P Macdonald, Belmont, MA USA.


Cruise News - April 20, 2020

Viking Officially Opens Reservations For New Mississippi River Cruises
Viking today opened reservations to the public for its new Mississippi River cruises, which will launch in 2022. The company's first custom vessel, Viking Mississippi, will debut in August 2022 and will sail voyages on the Lower and Upper Mississippi River, between New Orleans and St. Paul. Viking's arrival will bring modern river cruising to the Mississippi and will represent a major commitment to tourism and economic development in many communities along the river. Currently scheduled ports of call on Viking's new Mississippi River cruises comprise seven U.S. states: Louisiana (Baton Rouge, Darrow, New Orleans and St. Francisville); Mississippi (Natchez and Vicksburg); Tennessee (Memphis); Missouri (Hannibal, St. Louis); Iowa (Burlington, Dubuque and Davenport); Wisconsin (La Crosse); and Minnesota (Red Wing, St. Paul). As part of an exclusive preview promised by Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen, past Viking guests have been able to book the new Mississippi River cruises since March 30, 2020 and some departure dates are already nearly or completely sold out. As of today, all inaugural sailings of Viking Mississippi's 2022-2023 season are now available to the public for booking.

"At a time where many of us are at home, looking for inspiration to travel in the future, I am pleased to introduce a new, modern way to explore this great river. We invented the concept of modern river cruising when we got our start 23 years ago—first on the rivers of Russia and then in Europe. Since then, many people have come to appreciate the unique exploration that comes with river cruising—but currently there are very few options to do so on American rivers," said Hagen when the new Mississippi River cruises were announced on March 30, 2020. "Our guests are curious travelers, and they continue to tell us that the Mississippi is the river they most want to sail with us. The Mississippi River is closer to home for many of our guests, and no other waterway has played such an important role in America's history, commerce and culture."

The highly anticipated announcement of Viking's arrival on the Mississippi is the most recent milestone as Carnival said that it continues to expand its fleet and destination-focused travel offerings. In January 2020 Carnival said that it unveiled Viking Expeditions, with the first 378-guest purpose-built expedition ship, Viking Octantis, launching in January 2022 on voyages to Antarctica and then North America's Great Lakes. A second expedition vessel, Viking Polaris, will debut in August 2022, sailing to Antarctica and the Arctic.

Hosting 386 guests in 193 all outside staterooms, the new state-of-the-art Viking Mississippi is inspired by Viking's award-winning river and ocean ships and will feature clean Scandinavian design, as well as public spaces that are familiar to guests but that have been reimagined for Mississippi River voyages. Purpose-built for the Mississippi and currently under construction in Louisiana, the five-deck ship's cutting-edge design, expansive windows and comfortable amenities will make it the largest and most modern cruise ship in the region. Highlights of the new ship include:

• All Outside Staterooms: Guests can choose from an unparalleled seven spacious stateroom categories that range from 268 sq. ft to 1,024 sq. ft: Veranda, French Balcony, Deluxe Veranda, Penthouse Veranda, Penthouse Jr. Suite, Terrace Suite and Explorer Suite. All staterooms feature a private veranda or French balcony, king-size bed with luxury linens, large flat-screen interactive TV, mini-bar, large glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor and 24-hour room service.

• Viking Suites: Viking Mississippi will have some of the largest true suites on the river, with every suite featuring two rooms and a full-size veranda off the spacious sitting room. Guests in Penthouse Jr. Suites (400 sq. ft.) and Terrace Suites (425 sq. ft.) receive early stateroom access; expanded double-sink bathroom; mini-bar with alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, water and snacks replenished daily; welcome champagne; and laundry, pressing and shoe shine services. Guests in the expansive Explorer Suites (657 sq. ft. to 1,024 sq. ft) also receive a wraparound veranda and complimentary Silver Spirits Beverage Package.

• Explorers' Lounge & The Bow: Familiar to Viking's ocean guests as one of the most popular onboard public spaces, Viking Mississippi will also feature an Explorers' Lounge near the bow of the ship. The sun-filled, two-story Explorers' Lounge has floor-to-ceiling windows that open to The Bow, a unique outdoor seating area at the front of the ship where guests can relax and enjoy ever-changing riverside views.

• River Café: From American classics to Mamsen's Norwegian specialties, this indoor/outdoor dining venue on the top deck will offer alternative restaurant dining in a casual al fresco setting.

• Aquavit Terrace: A public space beloved by many of Viking's ocean and river guests, Viking Mississippi will also feature a revolutionary Aquavit Terrace on the top deck, providing a casual dining space ideal for an

• American barbecue experience. Combined with the River Café, the Aquavit Terrace will provide the most al fresco dining options on the Mississippi.

• Sun Terrace with Infinity Plunge Pool: Similar to Viking's ocean ships, Viking Mississippi will have a glass-backed pool experience at the aft, allowing guests to take a dip while fully surrounded by their destination.

• The Living Room: Clean Scandinavian design paired with American influences, the Living Room on Deck 1 is designed for socializing, relaxing and entertainment. Nearby, the quiet corner of The Library, is a perfect place to discover a new book.

• The Restaurant: This main dining venue on Deck 1 will serve daily-changing menus featuring delicious regional cuisine and always available classics prepared with fresh, local ingredients.

• Full 360-Degree Promenade Deck: Guests can stroll the entire ship outside on Deck 1, stretching their legs while viewing scenic landscape and regional wildlife.

• Enrichment On Board and On Shore: Connecting guests to their destinations through authentic experiences is central to Viking creating "the thinking person's cruise." A focus on cultural enrichment on board Viking Mississippi means that guests will enjoy Destination Performances that represent the most iconic music of the region—as well as Guest Lecturers that shed light on the region's art, architecture, history, culture, natural world and more. And only The Viking Way of exploration provides guests with itineraries that feature Privileged Access, Local Life and Working World experiences, opening doors to places otherwise difficult to visit. On Viking's Mississippi River itineraries, guests may choose to take a guided kayaking trip in the Louisiana bayou; visit a working farm in Quad Cities; or immerse themselves in Cajun culture during a Privileged Access excursion to the Rural Life Museum of Louisiana State University.

• Sustainable Features: Solar panels, LED lighting, floor-to-ceiling windows that maximize natural light and an energy-efficient hybrid propulsion system will make Viking Mississippi the most environmentally friendly passenger ship on the Mississippi River.

• Viking Inclusive Value: Every Mississippi River cruise fare includes everything guests need, with no surprises or hidden fees. Cruise fares include one complimentary shore excursion in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including beer and wine with lunch and dinner service, lectures, alternative dining at no extra charge, self-service launderettes, 24-hour room service and free Wi-Fi.

2022-2023 Viking Mississippi Inaugural Voyages

• America's Heartland (8 days; St. Louis to St. Paul)—From pristine farms nestled in rolling terrain to steep bluff rising from tributaries dotted with wooded islands, the Upper Mississippi offers a rich tapestry of beauty upon every turn of the river. This journey introduces you to the unforgettable experience of the locks and dams that control the flow of the heartland rivers. Hear stories of settlers migrating west; learn about Lewis & Clark, Mark Twain, John Deere and the Amish and Norwegian migrations; experience the regional music like polka and Norwegian folk; and taste regional cuisine showcasing local beer, produce and Wisconsin cheese.

• Heart of the Delta (8 days; New Orleans to Memphis)—This journey on the Lower Mississippi is infused with American history, culture and heritage. Tour the area where the migrating French and Acadians settled; immerse yourself in the culture and lessons from the American Civil Rights Movement; discover the music of the South—jazz, blues and gospel; and experience the life and food culture of the south, from Cajun and Creole to the famed "dry" Memphis BBQ.

• Southern Celebration (8 days; New Orleans–Vicksburg–New Orleans)—On this exploration of the Lower Mississippi, visit the historic homes of Louisiana and Mississippi; learn about Civil War history, touring sites like Vicksburg National Military Park; and discover the excitement and unique flavors of New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

• America's Great River (15 days; New Orleans to St. Paul)—Experience nearly the entire length of the Mississippi River on this incredible journey from the Gulf of Mexico to the northernmost reaches of the U.S. Relax and enjoy the variety of scenery, foliage and wildlife on this leisurely voyage. Enjoy Southern charm and beautifully preserved homes in Natchez; retrace the steps of Civil Rights leaders in Memphis; ascend the Gateway Arch in St. Louis; and visit "The Norwegian Valley" in La Crosse.

MSC Group Converts Ferry Ship Into Floating Covid-19 Hospital
Grandi Navi Veloci (GNV), part of MSC Group, has converted the ferry ship Splendid into a floating hospital equipped for the assistance of patients with COVID- 19 and those convalescing.

GNV started working on the project together with classification society RINA in early March, in close coordination with Italy’s Liguria Health System and Civil Protection. Together they defined a suitable solution that could be implemented in a very short period to increase Liguria's hospital capacity and, where necessary, to serve other areas of the country.

The project has a high level of flexibility and scalability and can be quickly adapted to meet future needs of the Liguria Region as the COVID-19 emergency evolves. Stationed at Ponte Colombo in Genoa’s Ferry Terminal, the current solution offers 25 beds in single cabins, although it is possible to equip additional cabins up to a total of 400 beds. The floating hospital also features a heliport and dedicated areas to healthcare personnel and crew, organized to guarantee suitable standards, comfort and flexibility.

RINA's contribution has been at core to the project, thanks to its knowhow in the field of certifications and inspections in the maritime sector, which Carnival said that it has provided free of charge. RINA verified that the new floating hospital complied with current regulations, identifying the correct balance between safety protection, naval regulations, the medical needs of a hospital indicated by ASL, the regional health care authority, and the urgent need to find a means of helping authorities and the National Health Service to address the fight against COVID-19.

This initiative has seen the immediate action of numerous partners, who made available products and services free of charge to equip the ship with all the necessary supplies, including HP-Aruba, Alpha Trading, Artigo Rubber Flooring, San Giorgio del Porto, Auscomar, ItalBrokers, Le Navi Maritime Agency, Burger King, Covim, Emis, Giunti Editore, IdealService, Infomaster, Mantero Sistemi, Provveditoria Marittima Ligure Angelo Novelli and Ansaldo Naval Technical Studio.

Holland America Line Reflects on History and Resilience on Its 147th Anniversary, April 18
Holland America Line is commemorating its 147th anniversary Saturday, April 18, 2020, by honoring its rich legacy, taking care of each other in the present and looking forward to its next chapter. With travel paused globally, the premium cruise line is reflecting on the resilience that has been exhibited throughout Carnival said that it 's history, enduring challenging times many times before and emerging even stronger thanks to loyal guests, dedicated crew and employees, and the support of travel advisors.

Founded April 18, 1873, as the Netherlands-American Steamship Company, the brand has welcomed more than 150 ships throughout the years. A third Pinnacle-class ship, Ryndam, is under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy and scheduled for delivery in late spring 2021. While the cruise line has paused its global operations through June 30, only one other time in company history did operations cease. During World War II, all passenger voyages stopped, and ships were called to serve in the Allied war effort.

"It's important during these challenging times to still celebrate important milestones, and our 147th anniversary reminds us that Holland America Line has one of the deepest histories and richest legacies in the cruise industry," said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. "We stand on a solid foundation built by those that came before us over nearly a century and a half, and just as they weathered uncertain times, we will as well. Holland America Line will be back taking guests around the world as soon as we can, and we can't wait to welcome everyone back on board."

Since 1873, Holland America Line has traveled to all seven continents, offered decades of world cruises and explored Alaska for more than 70 years. Each time a new ship joins the fleet it's a celebration of this legacy and marks the next chapter in Carnival said that it 's history. Learn more about Carnival said that it 's history at https://youtu.be/BCdm7usWixI.

To help our loyal guests look forward their next cruise, new short-term Book with Confidence cancellation policies are available for cruise bookings with departure dates through Oct. 15, 2020, and a generous Cancellation Protection Plan (CPP) is always available for purchase right up until the cancellation policy for a booking is in effect. CPP permits cancelling for any reason and provides cash refunds. Additional offers that feature perks and savings will have cruisers dreaming of travel in 2021 and beyond.

Carnival Corporation Names Jeffrey J. Gearhart to Boards of Directors
Carnival Corporation & plc today announced that Jeffrey J. Gearhart, retired executive vice president, global governance and corporate secretary for Walmart, Inc. (WMT), was appointed yesterday to Carnival said that it 's boards of directors, effective immediately. In his role at Walmart, Gearhart was responsible for, among others, the global legal, compliance, ethics, global security and investigative organizations.

In addition to his 15-year leadership tenure with Walmart, Gearhart is a member of the boards of directors at Bank OZK and Mercy Hospital, Central Region. Before joining Walmart, Gearhart was a partner with Kutak Rock LLP, practicing in the corporate, securities and mergers and acquisitions areas.

With a distinguished career that spans almost three decades, Gearhart is credited with building a globally recognized ethics and compliance program that earned Walmart the New York Stock Exchange Governance Services award for the "Best Governance, Risk, and Compliance Program for Large-Cap Companies" in 2016. Gearhart will serve in a non-executive capacity on Carnival Corporation's 12-member boards of directors. He will also serve on both the Compliance and the Health, Environmental, Safety & Security (HESS) Committees.

"As someone who led an enterprise-wide ethical-sourcing program in addition to overseeing all domestic and international legal matters for one of the world's top companies, Jeff brings extensive financial, operational, governance and strategic expertise to our boards of directors," said Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation & plc chairman. "This, combined with Jeff's proven track record of balancing regulatory requirements with the commercial realities of doing businesses, will be a major asset as we shape the future of our organization."

Gearhart earned a doctor of jurisprudence degree from the University of Arkansas, where he also earned a bachelor of science in business administration degree.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 12.22 + 6.26%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 35.99 + 7.85%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.51 + 30.77%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 11.49 + 1.14%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What is the largest twin-screw ocean liner ever built?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What ever became of Cunard's Carpathia that became famous for rescuing the survivors of Titanic?

Answer - The ss Carpathia was torpedoed by a German Submarine on July 17th 1918 in the Celtic Sea.
courtesy of Larry P Macdonald, Belmont, MA USA.


Cruise News - April 13, 2020

Arne Wilhelmsen, a founder of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., dies at 90
Arne Wilhelmsen, a founder of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) and a visionary strategist of the modern cruise industry, died Saturday, April 11, 2020, in Palma, Spain. He was 90. The entire Royal Caribbean family extends its heartfelt condolences to the Wilhelmsen family.

Wilhelmsen was a constant influence on Carnival said that it from its founding, serving more than three decades on Carnival said that it 's board of directors. Together with Carnival said that it 's first CEO, the late Edwin Stephan, Wilhelmsen saw possibilities for the nascent cruise industry that others did not.

"At a time when the rest of the world thought cruising was a niche use for old transatlantic liners, Arne was already seeing glimmers of the growth that was possible," said Richard Fain, RCL's chairman and CEO. "He had a vision of the modern cruise industry when the 'industry' might have been a dozen used ships, total."

Their key insight: building new ships uniquely designed for cruising in warm weather. The industry did not grow from New York, the traditional transit hub; it came to Miami, helping the region itself grow as the public discovered an entirely new way to take a vacation.

Wilhelmsen saw the potential for cruising to become the fastest growing segment in a growing vacation industry. A believer in economies of scale, he once recalled, "My initial challenge was to convince my partners and management in Miami to build bigger and more efficient ships in order to grow Carnival said that it ." True to his vision, Carnival said that it now sails 61 ships calling on all seven continents and its fleet features the largest cruise ships in the world.

Born on June 15, 1929, in Oslo, Norway, Wilhelmsen earned his MBA at Harvard Business School and worked as a chartering assistant for Norway's EB Lund & Co. and later as a shipbroker in New York. After joining the family business in 1954, he became its president in 1961. The scion of a leading Norwegian shipping concern – Anders Wilhelmsen & Co AS – he spent most of his life in the family business, including an early stint as a deckhand.

"Arne was a steady presence and source of wisdom on our board for decades," Fain said. "And in 2003, when he was ready to step back, he was succeeded on the RCL board by his son, Alex, who has carried the involvement of the Wilhelmsen family in charting our company's course into its sixth decade. Our high standards as a company, our insistence on excellence in operations and design, and our determination to persevere all owe a great deal to the long-term vision of Arne, Alex and the Wilhelmsen family. We salute our friend, and we will miss him dearly."

108th Anniversary of Titanic Sinking
This Wednesday is the 108th anniversary of the sinking of the ocean liner Titanic. The following is a brief overview of the famous ship's brief and tragic life.

The story of RMS Titanic begins at a London dinner party in 1907 attended by White Star Line Chairman, J. Bruce Ismay and Lord Pirrie, a partner at shipbuilder Harland and Wolff. Following a discussion of how they might work together to respond to the increasing competition on the North Atlantic sea route, Ismay and Lord Pirrie agreed that Harland and Wolff would build three super liners, Olympic, Titanic and Gigantic (her name was later changed to Britannic).

These three sisters would provide unmatched luxury and safety for transatlantic passengers. While the ships would be fast, they were never intended to challenge for the record Atlantic crossing. At over 45,000 tons, they would be the largest passenger liners ever built. Titanic would be over 883 feet long and could carry over 2,600 passengers.

Passenger accommodations consisted of the following:
First class - 416 rooms, 928 berths, 106 sofas and 554 seats in the saloon
Second class - 162 rooms, 510 berths and sofas and 402 seats in the saloon
Third class - 982 in rooms, 40 open berths and 473 seats in the saloon

Construction on the first of the three sisters, Olympic, began in late 1908. Work on her sister, Titanic began a year later in March of 1909. Because of the ships size, both the facilities in Belfast, where the ships were built and New York, their North American destination, had to be expanded. Titanic was launched in May of 1911 and spent the next 11 months fitting out at the Harland and Wolf shipyards. A total of three million rivets were used on her hull, and each of her anchors weighed approximately 8 tons.

Titanic's maiden voyage was originally scheduled for March 20, 1912, but in February of that year, her sister Olympic lost a propeller blade and had to return to the shipyard for emergency repair. As a consequence, resources were temporarily pulled from the Titanic project, and the ship's maiden voyage was delayed until April 10, 1912. Titanic did not sail at full full capacity on her maiden voyage. A total of 337 passengers sailed in first class, 271 in second class and 712 in third class, or steerage. Most third class passengers were emigrants from Ireland, England, France, Poland, Scandinavia, Italy and the Middle and Far East.

While many writers (and web sites) claim that the builders dubbed her "unsinkable", there is no record that White Star or her captain Edward J. Smith ever using those words to describe Titanic. It is more likely that this unfortunate, and inaccurate, label was applied by the popular press at the time and over the years it became attributed to both the captain and White Star.

The reality was that Titanic offered her passengers the latest in shipbuilding technology with a double hull and a total of 16 water-tight compartments that were designed to keep her afloat even if up to 4 of them became flooded. While she carried more than the required number of lifeboats for the time, the regulations in effect in 1912 had not been updated to deal with ships of Titanic's size and as a result, her 20 lifeboats only had space for approximately 1,200 of the 2,600 passengers she was expected to carry.

In addition to the latest technology, she also provided her passengers some of most luxurious services and accommodations available. To keep passengers occupied during the crossings she had an indoor swimming pool, a squash court, a gymnasium and even a Turkish Bath. To help passengers stay in contact with business or friends at home, she was equipped with a Marconi radio transmitter and receiver which was staffed 24 hours a day. The facilities in the first class staterooms were unmatched at sea and even rivaled many of the finest shoreside accommodations. The quality and variety of food on board was exquisite and the level of service was superb. vIn addition to the formal dining room, Titanic also offered her first class passengers more personal service in the Verandah restaurant where they could order from a special a-la-carte menu. Much like transatlantic crossings today, during days at sea Titanic passengers could enjoy music, stroll along an enclosed promenade, or relax in a deck chair with a book selected from an extensive ship's library.

Accommodations for second class and steerage passengers, while nowhere near the luxury of first class, were nonetheless superior to many of the top accommodations found on other ships.

This new level of luxury and service attracted the elite of British and American society and as a result, Titanic sailed on her maiden voyage with a passenger list that included an unmatched list of celebrities. She also attracted a large number of steerage passengers who were drawn by her size and reputation as a safe ship. While Titanic sported 4 funnels, only three of them were functional - the fourth funnel was added for cosmetic and marketing purposes.

She left Southampton at noon on Wednesday April 10th and proceeded across the English channel to Cherbourg, France where she stopped briefly to pick up additional passengers. Her departure from Southampton was not without incident as Titanic nearly collided with a steamer after the suction of her three propellers snapped the steamer New York's lines and drew her toward Titanic. Captain Smith avoided the collision by cutting Titanic's engines and using the port propeller's wash to keep the ships apart.

In Cherbourg, events went more smoothly and after picking up passengers from tenders, Titanic proceeded northwest to Queenstown, Ireland to pick up her final group of New York-bound passengers. She also dropped off a few very lucky Queenstown-bound passengers. On the evening of April 11th, she left Queenstown and headed out into the Atlantic.

As she headed east, she took the southern track which followed the arc of a great circle from Fastnet rock to the Nantucket Shoals Lightship. This was considered the safest route to avoid the dangers of thick pack ice and large icebergs typically found in more northerly waters at that time of year.

As Captain Smith gradually increased her speed to 22 knots, the experienced passengers on board began to settle into the normal routines of a crossing - getting to know their fellow passengers, exploring the ship, and dressing for diner. Weather was clear and relatively warm, since the winter of 1912 had been uncharacteristically mild. Unfortunately for Titanic, this mild winter had caused an unusually large amount of ice to break away and drift south into the shipping lanes.

With nice weather and smooth seas, passengers in all classes enjoyed four pleasant days at sea. On Sunday, April 14th, the weather began to change and the temperature began to fall. Titanic received at lest five different warnings of ice ahead, but since they had not spotted any ice yet, Captain Smith saw little reason to reduce Titanic's speed.

Later that evening, the wireless operator received a sixth ice warning, but since he was an employee of Marconi - not White Star - and his primary job was to send passenger's messages to shore rather than relay messages to the bridge, this final warning was put aside until thing settled down in the wireless room.

Outside the temperature continued to drop but the moonless, star-filled sky remained clear. At 11:40, lookout Fredrick Fleet spotted an iceberg dead ahead. He rang the bridge and First Officer Murdoch responded by ordering Titanic turned hard to port and the engines full astern. As a result, Titanic began a slow turn away from the iceberg. Unfortunately, she was too close and moving too fast, and her starboard side brushed against the berg.

Surprisingly the impact against the iceberg was barely felt by most passengers with many sleeping through the entire incident. A number of the passengers awake at the time thought Titanic had just barely touched the iceberg or missed it completely. Very few believed the ship had been seriously damaged and some even played football with pieces of ice that had fallen from the berg to the ships foredeck.

Contrary to most reports at the time (and for the next 72 years), Titanic did not suffer a "huge gash" but rather an extended separation of her hull plates. The result was a very small, but very long opening to the sea that doomed the ship.

Soon after the collision, Captain Smith summoned the Titanic's builder, Thomas Andrews to accompany him on a tour of the damage. After visiting the forward section of the ship, Andrews informed Captain Smith that the damage was fatal and that the ship would probably sink within two hours. Ironically, had the lookouts not seen the iceberg and Titanic rammed the berg head-on, the damage would have been limited to her bow compartments and she likely would have made it safely to land.

Just after midnight the crew was instructed to begin waking passengers and advised them to dress warmly, put on their life jackets and report to their lifeboat stations. Since the lifeboats could only accommodate about 1,100 passengers, it was decided that women and children would be put into the boats first.

Unfortunately, due to a variety of reasons including, language, location and social class, passengers in second class and steerage did not arrive at their boat stations until much later, after many of the lifeboats had already left. As a consequence, a greater percentage of these passengers perished.

All of the boats were launched by 2:00 am. and the remaining passengers began moving toward the gradually rising stern. As the bow dropped deeper into the cold water the ship's band continued to play a variety of popular music - although contrary to popular perception it is unlikely they ever played the hymn "Nearer my God to thee"

By 2:10 am, the angle of the deck was so steep that the band could no longer stand to play and they probably joined the growing crowd struggling to climb up the deck. Finally, at 2:15 the weight of the bow section became so heavy that the hull actually fractured and the stern section of the ship separated.

As the water-filled bow plunged toward the bottom, the mostly empty stern, righted itself temporarily and then quickly filled with water and joined the bow on a two and a half mile plunge to the cold Atlantic floor. Of the 2,400 passengers that left for New York on Titanic, only 705 had made it into lifeboats. The remaining 1,502 passengers perished - with many left struggling in the near freezing water.

According to the formal British inquiry, the breakdown of survivors was as follows: First class: 203 (62%) saved, 122 (38%) lost
Second class 118 (41%) saved, 167 (59%) lost
Steerage class 178 (25%) saved, 528 (75%) lost
Crew 212 (24%) saved, 673 (76%) lost

Just before 4:00 am on the morning of April 15th, the survivors saw a faint light on the horizon. Soon thereafter, they saw rockets in the sky fired by the Cunard liner Carpathia. She was the first of the rescue vessels to reach Titanic's last reported position and she had raced heroically through the night dodging icebergs and the surrounding ice fields in a desperate attempt to reach the stricken liner.

Carpathia began picking up survivors as dawn broke and by mid morning it was over. By 8:30 am all of the surviving passengers and the Titanic's lifeboats, all that remained of the largest ship afloat, were aboard and she headed for New York. She arrived there on the evening April 18th and was mobbed by hopeful families and a waiting press.

Today Titanic rests on the bottom of the North Atlantic 2 1/2 miles down at approximately - latitude 41o 46'N, longitude 50o 14'W. The wreck was located 73 years after she went down, by Dr. Robert Ballard of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. It was Dr. Ballard who was able to confirm the previous reports that the ship had broken in two before she sank.

Carnival Cruise Line Extends Pause In North American Operations, Hints At Late June Return/FONT>
Carnival Cruise Line announced today that it is notifying guests that the cruise line is cancelling more cruises as they extend the pause in North American operations, with plans to resume on June 27, 2020.

In the announcement, the cruise line said that it shares the global priorities of health and safety for all. Carnival said that it will use this extended pause to continue to take care of the crew that remains on board and continue to bring non-essential crew home. Carnival said that it is actively engaged with the industry and its stakeholders on additional protocols that they will be implementing when they resume service. The cruise line said that it is dedicated to maintaining confidence in their commitment to protecting the health and safety of their guests, crew and the communities they serve.

Carnival said that they are communicating directly with their guests and travel agent partners and have worked to minimize the disruption by automating the process so that guests and travel agents can manage their options online. Carnival's offices remain closed at the direction of local government, and while their customer contact center team is now taking calls at home, technology limitations continue to impact productivity and our level of support. Carnival said that it appreciates the patience of its guests and travel advisors during this unprecedented time. The cruise line said that it is touched by the many expressions of support for the cruise line and the genuine concern for their onboard team members whose dedication to their guests is the basis for their loyal fan base.

Holland America Line Extends Temporary Pause of its Global Ship Operations Until June 30
Due to continued port closures including Canada's cruise ship suspension until July 1 and other travel restrictions resulting from global health concerns, Holland America Line has made the decision to extend its pause of global cruise operations and cancel all sailings scheduled to depart through June 30, 2020. This includes Alaska, Canada/New England and Europe cruises.

In Alaska, Holland America Line is also cancelling all Alaska sailings for summer 2020 on Maasdam, Noordam, Oosterdam, Volendam and Westerdam. In addition, all Land+Sea Journeys are cancelled. A Land+Sea Journey combines a Holland America Line Alaska cruise with an overland tour to Denali and the Yukon. The McKinley Chalet Resort, McKinley Explorer rail cars and tour motorcoaches will not operate this summer.

The premium line is assessing the future impact of the order by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control for cruises through mid-July. Additional deployment details will be shared in the near future.

"These are unprecedented times. Having to delay summer cruising and cancel our land tours for the entire season is the responsible thing to do, yet also very disappointing and a first in our more than 70 years of taking guests to Alaska," said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. "We know this decision impacts our loyal guests, travel advisor partners, staff members and local businesses who rely on summer tourism for their economies. We look forward to better days and returning to a full summer cruising season in 2021."

Two Options for Guests on Cancelled Cruises

Guests with impacted cruises have two options to choose from and must make their selection by June 1, 2020:

• Option #1: Defer a refund and receive a Future Cruise Credit for 125% of the base cruise fare paid plus an onboard credit of US$250 per person, which can be applied toward any future cruise(s) through Dec.?31, 2021. Guests who haven't paid in full will receive a Future Cruise Credit for 125% of the amount paid to Holland America Line.

• Option #2: A 100% refund of all monies paid to Holland?America?Line will be reimbursed. This includes Holland?America?Line's Flight Ease air, Cancellation Protection Plan, Holland?America?Line pre- or post-cruise hotel packages or transfers, prepaid shore excursions and amenities purchased through Holland?America?Line, and taxes, fees and port?expenses.

All bookings automatically will be cancelled through June 30. Guests do not need to call to cancel, however, they should visit hollandamerica.com to indicate their preference for the 125% Future Cruise Credit or 100% refund no later than June 1. If a choice is not made by this deadline, guests will be deemed to have accepted the greater value Option #1. The Future Cruise Credit is valid on any cruise departing through December 31, 2021, and must be applied toward this future cruise by December 31, 2020.

Princess Cruises Extends Temporary Pause of Global Operations Through June 30
In continued response to the impact of the COVID-19 global outbreak and the recent order from the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Princess Cruises is canceling all voyages through June 30, 2020. The cruise line had previously announced a voluntary pause for two months (60 days), impacting voyages departing March 12 to May 10, 2020.

In addition, Princess Cruises can confirm modifications to the Alaska season, which includes the cancellation of all Princess Alaska Gulf cruise and cruisetours. The five wilderness lodges, trains and buses operated by Princess in Alaska will not open this summer. We will continue round-trip sailings from Seattle to Alaska on Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess.

"This global outbreak continues to challenge our world in unimaginable ways. We recognize how disappointing this is to our long-term business partners and thousands of employees, many of whom have been with us in Alaska for decades," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. "We hope everyone impacted by these cancellations – especially our guests, travel advisor partners, teammates, and the communities we visit – understand our decision to do our part to protect the safety, health and well-being of our guests and team. We look forward to the brighter days and smooth seas ahead for all of us."

Each ship will have a unique return to service date, based on the previously published cruise itineraries, with some modifications, departing after July 1. Details about the canceled voyages can be found here.

Princess Cruises is offering two cancellation options. Guests currently booked on these canceled voyages, who have paid in full, will receive a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid and, as an added incentive, an additional 25% FCC. Guests must use their credits on a cruise that sails on or before May 1, 2022. No action is required for guests to receive this offer and they will be notified by e-mail once the credits have been issued.

Alternatively, guests can receive a full refund for all monies paid in full on their booking through this online form. Requests must be received by May 31, 2020, or they will receive the Future Cruise Credit option. Guests who have not yet paid in full will receive a refund of all monies paid.

Princess will protect travel advisor commissions on bookings for canceled cruises that were paid in full, in recognition of the critical role travel advisors play in the cruise line's business and success.

Princess asks guests to please delay in calling the Reservation Call Center due to high call volumes. Guests and their travel advisors will be sent communications on how to manage cancellations, rebook another voyage, or request a refund.

Seabourn Extends Pause To Global Ship Operations Through June 30, 2020
Seabourn announced today that it will extend the voluntarily pause of global operations for its five cruise ships to voyages scheduled to depart through June 30, 2020.

The brand had previously announced a pause in its global ship operations from March 14 - May 14, 2020, effectively cancelling all voyages scheduled to operate during that timeframe. The decision is a proactive response to the unpredictable circumstances evolving from the global response to the COVID-19 situation.

Seabourn will be communicating changes for voyages scheduled to depart in the extension window with all booked guests and their travel advisors.

Seabourn guests on impacted voyages will receive a 125% refund on monies received in the form of a future cruise credit, which must be booked by Dec. 30, 2020 but can be applied toward any future cruise through December 31, 2021. For guests who do not opt to choose the 125% future cruise credit, a 100% refund of the monies paid to Seabourn will be reimbursed to the original form of payment.

Guests and their travel advisors will be sent details on how to manage cancellations and desired compensation online. Seabourn asks guests and travel advisors to use the online resources available first rather than calling the Reservation Call Center for information about the cancellations due to the possibility of high call volumes and the potential of long on-hold wait times.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 11.50 + 12.63%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 33.37 + 12.70%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.39 + 13.04%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 11.36 + 13.49%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which famous liner is credited with starting the Art Deco movement at sea and what year did she enter service?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which ocean liner had the first on-board movie theater/cinema?

Answer - In the 1920s the s/s Paris was the first ship to have movie theater/cinema on board. She was the largest French liner at the time.
courtesy of Larry P Macdonald, Belmont, MA USA.


Cruise News - April 6, 2020

Zaandam and Rotterdam Approved to Disembark Guests at Port Everglades
Holland America Line announced late last week that Broward County and the Unified Command cleared both Zaandam and Rotterdam for arrival to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to disembark guests who are fit to travel per guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The cruise line said that it extended sincere gratitude to President Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the Broward County Board of County Commissioners, Port Everglades Unified Command, Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry and all governmental and embassy authorities who helped to resolve this situation and get our nearly 1,200 guests home. And a special thank you to Broward County Mayor Dale Holness for his leadership, help and understanding.

“These travelers could have been any one of us or our families, unexpectedly caught in the middle of this unprecedented closure of global borders that happened in a matter of days and without warning,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “We are so happy to be able to get our guests home and assist those few who need additional medical services. The COVID-19 situation is one of the most urgent tests of our shared humanity, and we must do everything we can to ensure we continue to act in ways consistent with our common human dignity.

“Our guests on board both ships have been truly incredible, and we extend our deepest thanks and appreciation to all of them,” continued Ashford. “Their cooperation, support and understanding throughout this entire experience helped us best protect the health of all on board and ensured our shipboard teams could focus on caring for everyone and getting them home.

“I would also like to extend my sincerest thanks to the amazing officers and crews of Zaandam and Rotterdam,” continued Ashford. “They are heroes who rose to the challenge of taking care of our guests and each other under extraordinary circumstances. All of us at Holland America Line are so very proud of our colleagues for their exemplary leadership and service.” F

ollowing arrival in Port Everglades, guests will be health screened and also cleared for entry by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Disembarkation is expected to be completed by tomorrow evening, with priority given today to those who need immediate care at local health system partners who have approved their arrival.

Fit-to-travel guests will transfer straight from ship onto buses for transfer directly to the airport for their flights home. The majority will leave on charter flights. Local Florida residents will return home immediately via private car. Guests have not left the ship since March 14 and have self-isolated in their staterooms since March 22.

Guests who still have symptoms will remain on board and disembark at a later date to be finalized after they have fully recovered and meet the CDC guidelines for being fit to travel. They will continue to be well cared for on board by the ships’ medical staffs.

No crew from either ship will disembark in Fort Lauderdale.

Since March 22, 107 guests (90 on Zaandam/17 on Rotterdam) and 143 crew on Zaandam (0 on Rotterdam) have presented with influenza-like symptoms.

There are 808 guests and 583 crew on Rotterdam. On Zaandam there are 442 guests and 603 crew. Among the guests, 311 guests are American citizens and 52 are residents of Florida.

Due to global health concerns, Holland America Line made the decision to suspend its global cruise operations for 30 days and end its current cruises in progress as quickly as possible. ?At the time, Zaandam was sailing a South America cruise that began in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on March 7 that was originally scheduled to end in San Antonio, Chile, on March 21. Attempts were made and denied to disembark guests in Chile on March 15 and at other ports along its route to the United States.

On March 21, Zaandam was originally scheduled to begin a 20-day South America and Panama Canal cruise from San Antonio, Chile, and end in Fort Lauderdale on April 7. On March 30 an additional 30-day extension of cruise cancellations was announced, including departures through May 14.

Carnival Corporation & plc Announces Closing of Offering of 71,875,000 Shares of Common Stock
Carnival Corporation & plc today announced that Carnival Corporation (the "Corporation") has closed its registered public offering of 71,875,000 shares of common stock of the Corporation at a price of $8.00 per share (including 9,375,000 shares of common stock of the Corporation sold pursuant to the full exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase additional shares). The Corporation expects to use the net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes.

The Corporation also announced today by separate press release that it has closed its previously announced private offering to qualified institutional buyers of $1.95 billion aggregate principal amount of 5.75% convertible senior notes due 2023 (the "Convertible Notes"), including $200 million aggregate principal amount of the Convertible Notes sold pursuant to the partial exercise by the initial purchasers of their option to purchase additional Convertible Notes. The Corporation has granted the initial purchasers of the Convertible Notes an option to purchase on or before April 18, 2020, up to an additional $62.5 million aggregate principal amount of Convertible Notes, after giving effect to the partial exercise of the option described above. The closing of the Corporation's previously announced private offering to eligible purchasers of $4 billion aggregate principal amount of 11.500% first-priority senior secured notes due 2023 is expected to take place on April 8, 2020, subject to customary closing conditions. Nothing contained herein shall constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy the Convertible Notes or the first-priority senior secured notes.

BofA Securities, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and J.P. Morgan acted as joint book-running managers for the common stock offering. A shelf registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") and has become effective. The common stock offering was made only by means of a prospectus supplement and an accompanying base prospectus. A prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus relating to the common stock offering have been filed with the SEC and are available on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov.

Viking Launches New Experience Channel Viking.TV
Viking today announced the official launch of Viking.TV (https://viking.tv/), a new digital platform designed to provide enriching cultural content and livestreaming video experiences from around the world. The announcement was made by Executive Vice President Karine Hagen in a video for current and past Viking guests, posted on the homepage of Viking.TV.

"Right now, we are all staying at home instead of traveling together, but that does not have to mean that the only thing we can do is watch the news," said Karine. "My father, Torstein Hagen, and I felt that if we cannot for the time being bring our guests to the world, let's bring the world to our guests. Viking.TV is a way for us to continue exploring the world in comfort—from the comfort of our homes. And as soon as actual travel is less complicated again, we are ready to welcome you onboard."

Viking.TV was conceived as a way to build community, stay connected and share positive experiences at a time when people are staying home, rather than traveling. In addition to housing a library of enriching content that Viking guests would have enjoyed onboard their respective cruise itineraries, Viking.TV will also feature live content from a variety of experts, cultural partners and notable individuals. Each day at 11 a.m. PT in the "Conversations with Karine and Friends" section of Viking.TV, there will be a livestream conversation, demonstration or virtual tour where viewers can participate by submitting questions in real time. All content sessions will be archived for anyone who cannot view at the original time of broadcast. The schedule of daily participants will be announced every Sunday, and viewers can expect the following themes each day:

• Museum Mondays – Viking is a longtime sponsor of Oslo's Munch Museum and hosts "Munch Moments" onboard its ocean ships every afternoon, showcasing a curated collection of Norway's most famous artist, Edvard Munch. On Viking.TV, Museum Mondays will take the place of the onboard event, and viewers can expect streamed sessions with the museum's director and various curators, providing virtual privileged access to exhibitions, experts and restoration facilities. Additional museums may also participate in the future.

• Resident Historian Tuesdays – As part of Viking's onboard cultural enrichment program and commitment to destination-focused learning, Viking's Resident Historian faculty provides guests with lectures and roundtable discussions on significant milestones in world history. Each Tuesday, a Resident Historian will host an iconic lecture followed by a livestreamed Q&A session.

• Wednesdays with Music – One of the most important cultural aspects of any destination is its music. On Wednesdays, Viking.TV will bring some of the world's most interesting artists, composers and conductors of the musical world.

• Guest Speaker Thursdays – Viking is proud to welcome onboard as guest lecturers many experts in the fields of science, the arts and exploration. Every Thursday, Viking.TV viewers can enjoy meaningful conversations with a variety of academics and individuals who have led extraordinary lives. Upcoming hosts include veteran British broadcaster journalist Anne Diamond; world-renowned Norwegian explorer Liv Arnesen; and Xander Parish, principal dancer with the Mariinsky Ballet in St. Petersburg.

• Fridays at Home at Highclere Castle – Together with her husband Geordie, the 8th Earl of Carnarvon, the Countess of Carnarvon manages affairs at Highclere Castle, widely recognized as the filming location of Downton Abbey. Through her friendship with Karine, Viking has enjoyed a long relationship with Highclere Castle, to which many Viking guests each year enjoy Privileged Access. Every Friday, visitors to Viking.TV can get a glimpse of life "At Home at Highclere," as Lady Carnarvon broadcasts tours and conversations.

• Wellness Weekends – Saturdays and Sundays on Viking.TV are dedicated to wellbeing during uncertain times and will feature staff from the LivNordic spas onboard Viking's ocean ships, as well as other selected hosts, largely focusing on yoga and meditation.

The first "Fridays at Home at Highclere Castle" livestream officially launched today, April 3, and the next session will take place next Friday, April 10, at 11 a.m. PT. "Karine are I are as much sisters as we are friends, and our dogs are all related too!" said Lady Carnarvon. "The Viking and Highclere families are tightly linked through friendship and dogs, and I am delighted to open our castle doors and lives to the extended Viking family to give a little virtual insight into our history and lives, while we are all trying to deal with this temporary new normal. I hope you'll join me on Fridays as we go behind-the-scenes, with stories about royal visits, entertaining and heritage."

In addition to the daily content sessions, visitors to Viking.TV can access Viking-produced destination insights, which are hosted by Karine and showcase the history, art and culture from around the world. Viking.TV also features reading lists, filmography and music playlists by popular itinerary, so visitors can read, watch or listen their way around the world from right at home. Those who are looking to get creative in their home kitchen – and journey around the world through global cuisine – will enjoy "The Kitchen Table," a digital cookbook on Viking.TV that features recipes browsable by country and the ability for visitors to submit their own favorite recipes. And for guests who were especially looking forward to seeing their Viking family of onboard crew during their voyage, Viking.TV includes a forum where guests and crew can exchange greetings – reinforcing the tight community bonds that form as part of the travel experience.

On March 11, 2020, Viking became the first cruise line to announce a temporary suspension in operations in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Viking.TV stays true to the brand tagline of "Exploring the World in Comfort" – albeit for the time being, that exploration can now happen from the comfort of one's own home, rather than from the comfort of Viking ships.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 10.21 - 14.92%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 29.61 + 5.04%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.35 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 10.01 + 3.52%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which ocean liner had the first on-board movie theater/cinema?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which Holland America ship caught fire and sank off the Alaska coast in October 1980 while on a positioning cruise from Vancouver to the Orient? Her 524 passengers and crew were evacuated safely.

Answer - The Holland America Line ship the m/s Prinsendam is the ship that sank in Alaskan waters in October 1980 after a fire.
courtesy of Larry P Macdonald, Belmont, MA USA.


Cruise News - March 30, 2020

HAL's Zaandam and Rotterdam Still Looking For A Disembarkation Port After COVID-19 Outbreak
Holland America Line confirmed in a statement that four guests on board the Zaandam have passed away from COVID-19 and said that it was concerned that other lives are at risk if the ships continue to be denied permission to dock and disembark passengers. As of March 30, 76 guests and 117 crew on Zaandam had influenza-like illness, including eight people who have tested positive for COVID-19. The cruise line said that they have seen a notable and steady decline in cases of the last 48 hours, which they believe shows the immediate actions they took has helped contain spread.

Executives with the cruise line's parent company, Carnival, are working with the Coast Guard, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and local officials in Florida's Broward County on a plan that would allow healthy passengers to disembark.

Holland America said that it was finalizing the details for where and when their guests will disembark, and is asking for the same compassion and humanity to be extended for when the ships arrive in Florida although so far they have been denied premission to dock. The Zaandam cruise was originally scheduled to end in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on April 7.

Late last week Holland America said that it was granted approval by the Panama Canal Authority to transit Zaandam and Rotterdam through the Panama Canal. In the statement the cruise line said "We greatly appreciate this humanitarian consideration and the compassion shown for our guests and crew by the government of Panama and the Panama Maritime Authority. We are also thankful for the support of the various embassies that are partnering with us to help get their citizens home as quickly as possible."

The transfer of guests between Zaandam and Rotterdam was completed on March 29, before transiting the Panama Canal. The primary purpose of the transfer was to balance the workload between the two ships and to provide immediate relief to the service staff on Zaandam, which has fewer crewmembers working at this time.

The two ships will remain together for the rest of the journey. Guests on both ships will remain in their staterooms until disembarkation, and all necessary precautionary measures are being taken on both ships that have been developed in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Guests have not been ashore since March 14 in Punta Arenas, Chile, and have been self-isolating in their staterooms since March 22.

Guests who moved to Rotterdam completed a health screening prior to transferring via sanitized tender, with all other necessary precautions in place, including wearing masks, social distancing and direct transfer to their new staterooms. No guests who had any respiratory symptoms in the last ten days were transferred, and no Zaandam crew were transferred to Rotterdam.

Currently 73 guests and 116 crew members on Zaandam have reported influenza-like illness symptoms.

There are 797 guests and 645 crew on Rotterdam. On Zaandam there are 446 guests and 602 crew.

Carnival Cancels Select Additional Sailings For Specific Homeports, Itineraries And Ship

In light of the ongoing global response to the COVID-19 situation especially as it relates to certain regions, Carnival Cruise Line is cancelling the following:

• All Alaska sailings through and including June 30, 2020;

• All San Francisco sailings through 2020;

• All Carnival Radiance sailings through and including November 1, 2020;

• All Carnival Legend sailings through and including October 30, 2020.

“We share our guests’ disappointment in this necessary action, as this group of sailings included a number of unique itineraries and the introduction of new ships, homeports and destinations to our network,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Our team has been hard at work making plans for these voyages for over a year and the strong response by our guests suggests tremendous enthusiasm for these offerings which we hope to bring back at the right time.”

Carnival said that it was working with guests and their travel advisors to address this disruption to their vacation plans and extended its apologies. For their convenience, the cruise line said it has automated the customer service process and urged guests and travel partners to please use the online forms as requested in emails being sent. Carnival's offices in Greater Miami remain closed at the direction of local officials and and their ability to handle calls has been severely impacted by the ongoing situation. The web address for customers to make a selection is https://www.carnival.com/request-forms/cancellation-preference-v2.aspx. Please note that requests can only be submitted through this link for sailings impacted by these cancellations.

Royal Caribbean Extends Global Suspension of Cruising
Given global public health circumstances, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announcd that it has decided to extend the suspension of sailings of their global fleet.

Royal Caribbean said it was working with guests to address this disruption to their vacations. The cruise line said that it was also working with its crew to sort out the issues this decision presents for them.

Royal Caribbean also said that at this time they expect to return to service on May 12, 2020. Because of announced port closures, the cruise line said that it expects to return to service for Alaska, Canada and New England sailings July 1, 2020.

Holland America Line Extends Temporary Pause of its Global Ship Operations for 30 Additional Days
Due to the continued port closures and travel restrictions surrounding global health concerns, Holland America Line has made the decision to extend its pause of global cruise operations for an additional 30 days, cancelling sailings scheduled to depart through May 14, 2020.

Guests currently booked on cruises from April 14 through May 14 and their travel advisors will receive notification from Holland America Line in the coming days regarding options for selecting either a Future Cruise Credit for 125% of their booking value plus an additional $250 shipboard credit or a full refund.

"As the world addresses global health concerns, travel has come to a temporary standstill as communities take necessary precautions to protect themselves," said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. "All of us at Holland America Line are wishing everyone the best during this unprecedented time."

All bookings will automatically be cancelled through May 14. Guests do not need to call to cancel, however, they may visit hollandamerica.com to indicate their preference for a 125% Future Cruise Credit with the bonus $250 shipboard credit or 100% refund. Holland America Line will reimburse cancellation fees for air and other arrangements for travel to and from the cancelled cruise. (This does not apply to chartered sailings.)

Holland America Line kindly requests that all those booked on cruises from April 14 through May 14 do not call reservations for assistance as hold times are expected to be very long, and their booking will automatically be cancelled over the coming week.

Recognizing the vital role travel advisors play in the success of the cruise industry, Holland America Line will protect travel advisor commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full and for the total amount of the Future Cruise Credits when guests rebook.

Cunard Announces Pause to Voyages Until May 15, 2020
As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, Cunard has made the decision to take the preventative measure of extending the suspension of all voyages an additional month from April 11 up to and including May 15, 2020.

Cunard will continue to monitor government guidelines and travel restrictions in ports of call around the world, and this may mean there are further changes to the timing of when each of the ships returns to service.

"The impact of COVID-19 is affecting personal routines and businesses as well as placing significant travel restrictions around the world," Simon Palethorpe, President, Cunard said. "Everyone in the Cunard team is aware of the need to support the management and containment of COVID-19 globally. This includes protecting the health and safety of our guests and crew. It is therefore right we extend the pause in operations."

"It is too soon to know exactly how this situation will evolve," he added. "But I do know that we, the Cunard team, will commit all our resources, energy and talent to weather this storm and come out stronger than ever for our guests. We have been sailing for 180 years and we look forward to many more. We will get through these tough times together and look forward to welcoming our guests back on board again soon, when the time is right."

For all guests impacted by this temporary suspension, Cunard will provide a 125% Future Cruise Credit. This Future Cruise Credit will be applied automatically to their guest account for use on a future Cunard voyage. This can be redeemed against any new booking, on any voyage sailing before the end of March 2022, providing the booking is made by the end of December 2021.

Seabourn To Pause Global Cruise Operations For An Additional 30 Days
Seabourn announced today that it will extend the voluntarily pause of global operations for its five cruise ships for an additional 30 days. The 30-day extension includes sailings scheduled to depart through May 14, 2020.

The brand had announced an initial 30-day pause in global operations, which took effect on March 14, 2020. The decision is a proactive response to the unpredictable circumstances evolving from the global spread of COVID-19.

Seabourn will be communicating changes to voyages scheduled to depart in the extension window with all booked guests and their travel advisors.

Seabourn guests on impacted voyages will receive a 125% refund of the fare paid in the form of a future cruise credit, which can be applied toward any future cruise through December 31, 2021. For guests who do not opt to choose the 125% future cruise credit, a 100% refund of the monies paid to Seabourn will be reimbursed to the original form of payment.

Guests and their travel advisors will be sent communications on how to manage cancellations and desired compensation online. Seabourn asks guests not to call the Reservation Call Center for information about the cancellations due to the possibility of high call volumes and the potential of long on-hold wait times.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 12.80 + 6.67%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 29.77 + 5.60%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.36 + 2.90%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 9.67 - 11.61%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which Holland America ship caught fire and sank off the Alaska coast in October 1980 while on a positioning cruise from Vancouver to the Orient? Her 524 passengers and crew were evacuated safely.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which Holland America ship caught fire and sank off the Alaska coast in October 1980 while on a positioning cruise from Vancouver to the Orient? Her 524 passengers and crew were evacuated safely.

Answer - The Holland America Line ship the m/s Prinsendam is the ship that sank in Alaskan waters in October 1980 after a fire.
courtesy of Jonathan Fostik


Cruise News - March 23, 2020

Carnival Corporation Extends Offer to Governments and Health Authorities to Consider Cruise Ships as Temporary Hospitals
Carnival Corporation & plc today announced that select cruise ships from Carnival said that it 's global cruise line brands, including Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia, will be made available to communities for use as temporary hospitals to help address the escalating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare systems around the world.

With the continued spread of COVID-19 expected to exert added pressure on land-based healthcare facilities, including a possible shortage of hospital beds, Carnival Corporation and its brands are calling on governments and health authorities to consider using cruise ships as temporary healthcare facilities to treat non-COVID-19 patients, freeing up additional space and expanding capacity in land-based hospitals to treat cases of COVID-19. As part of the offer, interested parties will be asked to cover only the essential costs of the ship's operations while in port.

Governments or health authorities with interest can contact Monica Puello by email at MPuello@Carnival.com or by phone at (305) 406-8656.

If needed, cruise ships are capable of being quickly provisioned to serve as hospitals with up to 1,000 hospital rooms that can treat patients suffering from less critical, non-COVID-19 conditions. These temporary cruise ship hospital rooms can be quickly converted to install and connect remote patient monitoring devices over the ship's high-speed network – providing cardiac, respiratory, oxygen saturation and video monitoring capabilities. The rooms also have bathroom facilities, private balconies with access to sun and fresh air, as well as isolation capabilities, as needed.

Additionally, cruise ships being used as temporary hospital facilities to treat non-COVID-19 patients would have the ability to provide up to seven intensive care units (ICUs) in the ship's medical center equipped with central cardiac monitoring, ventilators and other key medical devices and capabilities. Similar to land-based health facilities, cruise ships can also house multiple medical functions in disparate locations by using different decks on the ship to separate each required medical area.

The temporary hospital cruise ships would be berthed at a pier near the community in need and operated by the ship's crew, with all maritime operations, food and beverage, and cleaning services provided by crew members on the ship. Medical services would be provided by the government entity or hospital responsible for fighting the spread of COVID-19 within that community.

Norwegian Jewel Arrives to Hawaii
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Jewel, which arrived in Honolulu on Sunday, March 22, 2020, is scheduled to disembark guests beginning March 23, 2020, when they will board chartered flights home.

Despite there not being any confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 associated with the ship, all guests will undergo enhanced medical screening prior to disembarkation.

Approximately 1,000 crew members will remain aboard.

“We are so very thankful to our Hawaiian partners and friends, especially Governor David Ige, Attorney General Clare Connors and Hawaii Department of Transportation Director Jade Butay and Deputy Director Derek Chow for their assistance in developing a coordinated disembarkation plan which keeps both guests and Hawaii residents safe and secure,” said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “The spirit of Aloha is alive and well. We have been sailing the Hawaiian Islands for over 15 years, drawing well over 100,000 travelers to the state each year. We look forward to returning and to continuing to celebrate the culture, history and people of Hawaii.”

Norwegian Jewel was the last vessel in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet with guests aboard at sea. All ships will soon be berthed in ports around the world until the temporary sailing suspension is lifted.

Princess Cruises Announces a Voluntary and Temporary Pause Of Global Operations
In proactive response to the unpredictable circumstances evolving from the global spread of COVID-19 and in an abundance of caution, Princess Cruises announced that it will voluntarily pause global operations of its 18 cruise ships for two months (60 days), impacting voyages departing March 12 to May 10.

“Princess Cruises is a global vacation company that serves more than 50,000 guests daily from 70 countries as part of our diverse business, and it is widely known that we have been managing the implications of COVID-19 on two continents,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “By taking this bold action of voluntarily pausing the operations of our ships, it is our intention to reassure our loyal guests, team members and global stakeholders of our commitment to the health, safety and well-being of all who sail with us, as well as those who do business with us, and the countries and communities we visit around the world,” added Swartz.

Those currently onboard a cruise that will end in the next five days will continue to sail as expected through the end of the itinerary so that onward travel arrangements are not disrupted. Current voyages that are underway and extend beyond March 17 will be ended at the most convenient location for guests, factoring in operational requirements. Princess will do everything possible to return each guest home with the greatest amount of care possible. During this time, our operations and medical teams across the fleet will remain vigilant in their care and service for guests and crew onboard.

For those who are impacted by this business decision, Princess is offering guests the opportunity to transfer 100% of the money paid for their cancelled cruise to a future cruise of their choice. To add a bonus incentive for guests to accept this offer, Carnival said that it will add an additional generous future cruise credit benefit which can be applied to the cruise fare. In addition, Princess will honor this offer for those guests who had made final payment and cancelled their booking on or after February 4, 2020. The future cruise credit can be used on any voyage departing through May 1, 2022.

vPrincess will protect travel advisor commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full and for the total amount of the future cruise credits, in recognition of the critical role they play in the cruise line’s business and success.

If the future cruise credit option does not work for some guests, they will be able to complete an electronic form on Princess.com to request a cash refund. Princess asks guests not to call the Reservation Call Center due to the possibility of high call volumes and the potential of long on-hold wait times due to this unprecedented action. Guests and their travel advisors will be sent communications on how to manage cancellations and desired compensation. Information and instructions for requesting a refund are available online at Princess.com

In a video posted on YouTube, Jan Swartz shares that “while this is a difficult business decision, we firmly believe it is the right one and is in alignment with our company’s core values. Rest assured the long-serving and dedicated professionals at our company will make best use of this time to prepare Princess Cruises’ fleet of cruise ships for a successful return to operation to serve our guests by delivering an exceptional vacation experience.”

Loyal guests, employees, travel advisor partners and business partners around the world have asked what they can do support Princess Cruises and its more than 35,000 team members in these challenging times. The answer is simple – book a cruise with Princess and bring your family and friends along. The company offers over 180 itineraries to popular and exotic destinations around the globe.

Princess Cruises plans to be back in operation beginning with cruises departing May 11, 2020.

Royal Caribbean Extends Global Suspension of Cruising
Given global public health circumstances, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced this week that it has decided to extend the suspension of sailings of their global fleet.

The cruise line said that it was working with its guests to address this disruption to their vacations, and that it was genuinely sorry for their inconvenience. Royal Caribbean said it was also working with their crews to sort out the issues this decision presents for them.

Royal Caribbean said it expects to return to service on May 12, 2020. Because of announced port closures, the cruise line said it expects to return to service for Alaska, Canada and New England sailings July 1, 2020.

Carnival Cruise Line’s Fleet Offers Illuminating Message of ‘We Will Be Back’
In the midst of an industry-wide pause in operations, Carnival Cruise Line is lighting up all of its ships in North America and Australia with an inspirational message for its crew, guests, travel advisors, port partners and communities in this unprecedented time of challenge.

The “We Will Be Back” message is meant to uplift spirits and serve as a reminder that cruising creates a lifetime of wonderful vacation memories.

Illuminating ships with messages was a little tricky but fun at the same time, according to Stefan Christoffersson, Carnival’s vice president of housekeeping who is part of the team that worked on the project.

It’s a process that took coordination between Carnival’s Miami headquarters and ships docked in ports along the East and West Coasts, Gulf of Mexico, Southern California and Australia or anchored at sea.

After reviewing deck plans for each of Carnival said that it ’s ships to determine which staterooms will spell out this hopeful message, shipboard teams had to physically turn on the lights of hundreds of staterooms – all without knowing what the finished product would look like.

“In the end, it’s very similar to turning on your Christmas tree once you’re done decorating and seeing how it all turned out,” Christoffersson said, noting that overall these highly synchronized projects are going off without a hitch. “We haven’t had one ‘We Will Be Bock’ or ‘We Will Be Buck.’”

“The crew takes a great deal of pride in their jobs and this project in particular has extra important meaning to them. More than anything our crew members want everyone to know that they are doing well and can’t wait to get back to the business of creating memories,” he added.

All ships in port or anchored where visible from land will be lit up beginning tonight.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 12.00 - 17.64%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 28.19 - 5.85%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.35 - 21.59%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 9.67 - 11.61+8%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which ship carried U.S. president Woodrow Wilson to France for the Versailles peace conference?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which former Atlantic liner ended her long career being subjected to partial flooding and numerous explosions as she served as a floating prop in the 1959 MGM film The Last Voyage?

Answer - The former French Line liner "Ile de France" was the ship used in the filming of "The Last Voyage". The name of the ship in the film was the s/s Claridon. George Sander played the role of the Captain.
courtesy of Larry P Macdonald, Belmont, MA USA


Cruise News - March 16, 2020

Carnival Cruise Line Announces Pause In Service
Carnival Cruise Line announced today that it is pausing operations immediately across its fleet of ships based in North America and will resume them on Friday, April 10. All ships currently at sea will continue their voyages and return to their homeports as scheduled.

Throughout this COVID-19 situation that has now turned into a global pandemic, the cruise line said that it has implemented higher and higher levels of screening, monitoring and sanitation protocols to protect the health and safety of their guests, crew and the communities we serve. While Carnival has not had a diagnosed case linked to ther operation the cruise line said that it realizes this situation is bigger than the cruise industry and they will continue to do their part to support public officials to manage and contain this unprecedented public health challenge.

The cruise line said that it is contacting booked guests directly regarding their cruise and their options.

In the announcement, Carnival said "Our guests have been tremendously patient and understanding as we have reacted to a rapidly changing situation and a desire to be responsive to authorities in the U.S. and the destinations we visit. We are very sorry that this decision will disrupt the vacation plans for our guests and look forward to resuming operations and providing our guests safe, fun and memorable vacations. And it goes without saying, we can only do that with the support of our outstanding onboard team members who have been nothing short of amazing during this prolonged period of challenge."

Holland America Line Announces a Voluntary and Temporary Pause Of its Global Ship Operations for 30 Days
Due to the continued port closures and travel restrictions surrounding COVID-19 and in an abundance of caution, Holland America Line has made the decision to voluntarily pause global cruise operations of its 14 ships for 30 days, impacting sailings scheduled to depart through April 14, 2020.

"These are unprecedented times, and while no guests or crew have tested positive for COVID-19 on any of our ships, we must take a leadership position as a global citizen and ensure that we are doing everything we can to help stabilize the situation," said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. "We know this decision will be disappointing and also inconvenience guests currently in transit, and for that we sincerely apologize. All of us at Holland America Line are fully committed to supporting all our guests through this change.

"Holland America Line operates 14 ships on all seven continents and we thank all of our guests, travel advisor partners, employees and business partners for their support during this challenging time," added Ashford. "We look forward to welcoming our guests back on board soon."

Three cruises that were scheduled to depart this weekend are now cancelled. Booked guests and their travel advisors are in the process of being notified. Guests on these three cruises cancelled this weekend will receive a 100% refund and 100% Future Cruise Credit.

Guests who have booked their own air should first contact their airline to make ticket changes. Holland America Line will rebook all guests who purchased their air through the Flight Ease program and will endeavor to help others who booked their own air if they are encountering issues.

Guests currently booked on cruises beyond this weekend that will now not be operating will receive a communication from Holland America Line in the coming days regarding their options.

To fully support guests on the cruises that were cancelled for this weekend and who are in transit, Holland America Line kindly requests that all those booked on cruises next week or later do not call reservations for assistance this weekend as hold times are expected to be very long. The line will be automatically working through the bookings of all impacted guests based on departure date and will send communications in the coming week regarding their options. We sincerely thank everyone for their patience and understanding.

Cunard Announces Month-Long Pause in New North American Departures
Cunard announced today that it is pausing new North American departures for a month-long period, effective Saturday, March 14 through Saturday, April 11, 2020.

Guests impacted directly are being contacted regarding their voyage and their options.

Throughout this COVID-19 situation that has now turned into a global pandemic, the cruise line said that it has implemented higher and higher levels of screening, monitoring and sanitation protocols to protect the health and safety of their guests, crew and the communities we serve. While Cunard has not had a diagnosed case linked to ther operation the cruise line said that it realizes this situation is bigger than the cruise industry and they will continue to do their part to support public officials to manage and contain this unprecedented public health challenge.

Seabourn To Pause Global Cruise Operations For 30 Days
Seabourn announced that it will voluntarily pause global operations of its five cruise ships for 30 days, starting March 14, 2020. The decision is a voluntary response to the unpredictable circumstances evolving from the global spread of COVID-19 and in an abundance of caution.

"In this unprecedented situation, we feel a pause is necessary," said Rick Meadows, President of Seabourn. "Through this action, it is our absolute intention to convey to our guests and the travel advisor community that we have the health and safety of all who travel with us as a top priority. Our pause should also reassure the hundreds of destinations we visit each year that we want to be responsible in our operations as we bring travelers into their communities each time we visit."

Current voyages that are underway will end by March 22, 2020. Seabourn will be communicating these changes with all booked guests and their travel advisors.

Seabourn guests on impacted voyages will receive a 125% refund of the fare paid in the form of a future cruise credit, which can be applied toward any future cruise through December 31, 2021. For guests who do not opt to choose the 125% future cruise credit, a 100% refund of the fare paid will be reimbursed to the original form of payment.

Seabourn asks guests not to call the Reservation Call Center due to the possibility of high call volumes and the potential of long on-hold wait times. Guests and their travel advisors will be sent communications on how to manage cancellations and desired compensation. Information and instructions for requesting a refund will be available online at Seabourn.com.

Royal Caribbean Announces Global Suspension Of Cruising
Given global public health circumstances, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has decided to suspend the sailings of our fleet globally at midnight tonight.

The cruise line said that it will conclude all current sailings as scheduled and assist their guests with their safe return home.

As with the cruise line's announcement yesterday regarding U.S. sailings, Royal Caribbean said that it expect to return to service on April 11, 2020.

History-Making All-Female Bridge And Leadership Team Sets Sail
For the first time in maritime history, an all-female bridge and onboard leadership team set sail yesterday, commemorating International Women’s Day. Led by Captain Kate McCue, the first American female cruise ship captain, who was accompanied by 26 other women representing 16 different countries, the award-winning Celebrity Edge sailed out of Port Everglades and began its seven-day Caribbean journey. Captain Cheryl Phipps, currently a Port Everglades Pilot and one of only a few female pilots in the country, conned the ship out to sea.

Also, in celebration of International Women’s Day, Celebrity Edge lit up the high seas with a vibrant purple glow, the color associated with the day, to further celebrate change-making women everywhere.

Around the world, only 2% of the world’s mariners are women. Celebrity Cruises made it a priority to #BRIDGEthegap, leading the maritime industry into a more diverse future and growing the number of women on their bridge teams from 3% to nearly 25% over the last few years, ultimately, making this historic moment possible.

“I fell in love with cruise ships at age 12 when my family took its first cruise vacation. At the end of the trip, I asked my Dad if he thought I could be a cruise director someday and he replied that I could drive the ship, if I wanted to. Five years later, I enrolled at the California Maritime Academy and nineteen years later I became a Captain,” said Captain Kate McCue. “I firmly believe that you have to see it, to be it. My hope is that today we inspire a new generation of young girls and women to chart their own course of pushing boundaries and breaking barriers to be whatever it is they want to be.”

“To ‘man the bridge’ with 100% women and to fill every leadership role on board with women is truly significant. I am so proud of these accomplished women, who worked tirelessly to be the best person for the job in a traditionally male-dominated industry and I am honored to work alongside them,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “Advancing gender equality in our industry takes a purposeful and focused commitment because it is not easy. This is such meaningful progress and we’re just getting started.”

On board for the history-making sailing are trailblazing women in other fields including Madeline Stuart, the first Supermodel with down syndrome; Kellee Edwards, the first black woman to host a national adventure travel show; and child prodigy artist Autumn de Forest; international jewelry designer Reout Kallati; and world-renowned fashion designer Mary Frances. The historic seven-night sailing will celebrate other female achievements through a variety of events including panel discussions, gallery exhibitions featuring female artists, excursions to women-led businesses in the ports the ship visits, and a cinema series putting female directors, actors and inspirational narratives center stage.

Celebrity Edge, which debuted in late 2018, was brought to life by a team of visionary architects and designers and features an array of stunning industry-first innovations – such as the transformational Edge Stateroom with Infinite Veranda and Magic Carpet, the world’s first cantilevered platform that travels up to 16 decks alongside the ship. Building on Celebrity Edge’s incredible momentum, Celebrity Apex debuts in 2020, followed by three additional sister ships in 2021, 2022 and 2024, respectively.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 14.57 - 32.98%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 29.94 - 37.97%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.44 - 1.85%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 10.94 - 44.78%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which former Atlantic liner ended her long career being subjected to partial flooding and numerous explosions as she served as a floating prop in the 1959 MGM film The Last Voyage?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which ship carried U.S. president Woodrow Wilson to France for the Versailles peace conference?

Answer - The former German liner George Washington, impounded in Hoboken, carried Woodrow Wilson to Europe.
courtesy of Jonathan Fostik


Cruise News - March 9, 2020

Holland America Line Makes Short-Term Changes to Cancellation Policy and Launches New Book with Confidence Program
In order to give travelers greater peace of mind surrounding their upcoming vacation plans, Holland America Line is announcing new programs to offer greater flexibility and choice during these uncertain times.

For guests currently booked on upcoming cruises, Holland America Line is temporarily changing its cancellation policy and allowing guests to cancel their cruise or Alaska Land+Sea Journey departing through May 31, 2020.

Any cancellation will receive a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) for the amount of the paid fare which can be used for another cruise in 2020 or 2021. The FCC must be booked by Dec. 31, 2020, and the cancellation must be made with a minimum of 72 hours in advance of departure date but no later than March 31, 2020. However, guests booked between now and March 9, 2020 may also cancel under this new policy despite being within 72 hours.

For those who choose to keep their cruise plans on departures through May 31, 2020, an Onboard Spending Credit of $200 per stateroom/$100 per person for voyages longer than 7 days and US$100 per stateroom/US$50 per person for voyages less than 6 days will be automatically applied to their shipboard account as a thank you.

We also know that there are people with specific individual health situations that impact their ability to safely travel during these times. For those guests who are able to provide supporting documents from their health care provider, Holland America Line will issue them a Future Cruise Credit. This "Compassion Policy" offer is available for guests booked on any sailing, regardless of departure date.

To help cruisers feel more secure when making a future booking, Holland America Line also is offering a new Book with Confidence program that allows for cruise and Land+Sea Journey cancellation.

Under Book with Confidence, guests who make a new booking by April 30, 2020, for itineraries that depart on or before Oct. 15, 2020, can cancel for any reason and receive a FCC in the amount of any cancellation fees applied. The cancellation must be made up to 30 days before departure.

"We fully understand that travelers are uncertain about their future vacations, so we have created two new programs to give both our current booked guests and those who want to cruise later this year more options and confidence for their planning," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "It's always important that travelers protect their vacation investment, and our Cancellation Protection Plan is one of the most robust available, allowing guests to cancel for any reason. And our plans cover today's circumstances, which many policies do not; so when combined with our new programs it's one of the most assured ways to confidently plan your cruise today."

Princess Cruises Temporarily Revises Cancellation Policy
Princess Cruises is temporarily modifying its cancellation policy for cruises and cruise tours departing through May 31, 2020. The cruise line is implementing this revised policy to assist guests making decisions regarding their upcoming cruise vacations during the evolving worldwide COVID-19 situation.

The details vary by departure date.

Apr 3 or earlier
Cancel up to 72hrs before sailing to receive
Future Cruise Credit (FCC) for 100% of cancellation fees

Apr 4 – May 31
Cancel by Mar 31, 2020 and receive FCC for 100% of cancellation fees

Jun 1 – June 30
Final Payment moves to 60 days prior to sailing (from 90 days)

* Date of departure is from the start date of your cruise or cruise tour, whichever is earlier. Excludes Chartered Cruises

Guests that choose to keep their booking as currently scheduled for departures between March 9 and May 31 will receive the following Onboard Credit amounts (USD):

• $100 per cabin for 3-day and 4-day cruises

• $150 per cabin for 5-day cruises

• $200 per cabin for 6 day and longer cruises

Future Cruise Credits will automatically be applied to each guests Captain Circle account after they have cancelled. Future Cruise Credits will not be available instantly and may take up to 10 business days to be processed.

Norwegian Cruise Line Offers Travelers Peace of Mind with New 48-Hour Cancelation Policy

Norwegian Cruise Line is encouraging travelers to plan their next vacation with its new Peace of Mind policy, offering guests who book voyages through Sept. 30, 2020 the opportunity to cancel up to 48 hours prior to the sail date and receive a 100% future cruise credit for use on any sailings through Dec. 31, 2022.

This new offer applies to all new guests as well as those already booked on voyages beginning March 10, 2020.

“We understand travelers are thinking carefully about their next vacation, and we are here to reassure them that now is the right time to start planning,” said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel. “Taking time off is important. It allows us to reconnect with the ones that mean the most to us. As a matter of fact, this summer, I’m looking forward to cruising to Europe with my family and discovering the incredible destinations we will visit together. I encourage our guests to do the same and to feel confident in spending their valuable time off with us.”

Royal Caribbean Adopts “Cruise With Confidence” Policy Allowing Cancellations Up To 48 Hours Before Sailing
With COVID-19 adding uncertainty to travel plans around the world, Royal Caribbean Group said it will give guests greater control over their vacation decisions, allowing guests to cancel cruises as late as two days before departure.

The “Cruise With Confidence” policy allows guests on Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea to cancel up to 48 hours before a sailing. Guests will receive a full credit for their fare, usable on any future sailing of the guest’s choice in 2020 or 2021. The policy applies to both new and existing cruise bookings.

“Our previous policy set earlier deadlines for guests to cancel their cruises, and that added unnecessary stress,” said Richard Fain, Carnival said that it ’s chairman and CEO. “Trying to guess a month or more in advance where areas of concern about coronavirus might be is challenging for medical experts, much less a family preparing for vacation.”

“When circumstances are as fast-changing as they have been recently, it’s good to know you have the option to take a rain check,” Fain said. “We think putting more control in our guests’ hands helps them make informed decisions about whether to keep their existing vacation plans or trade out for a more convenient time or itinerary.”

In addition to easing concerns for booked guests, Fain said the policy would also give consumers more confidence in making new bookings, knowing that they could later adjust their plans without penalty.

The policy applies to all cruises with a sailing date on or before July 31, 2020 and will be offered by Carnival said that it ’s global brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea. Full details of the “Cruise with Confidence” policy can be found at the respective brand websites.

Carnival Freedom Saves the Day And Surprises San Antonio Couple with Onboard Wedding and Reception
When Liza Garcia and Theodore Herrera, a local San Antonio couple, had their dream wedding in Jamaica cancelled, it was Carnival Cruise Line to the rescue!

The crew aboard Carnival Freedom surprised the couple with an impressive impromptu wedding for them and their guests sailing with them, with Captain La Farina presiding over the ceremony. To get wedding ready, the bride received complimentary hair and make-up at the ship’s Cloud 9 spa. Following the nuptials, the Carnival Freedom team pulled out all the stops, providing attendees with the full VIP treatment with a reception with lots of delicious food, a three-tiered wedding cake, an ice sculpture and a DJ who got everyone on the dance floor.

In addition to providing the shipboard wedding at no charge, Carnival even reimbursed the couple the funds for their wedding in Jamaica, and provided them with couples massages along with an intimate dinner at Farenheit 555 Steakhouse during the voyage.

“All of us on board were heartbroken when we learned that Liza and Theodore weren’t able to go ashore for their wedding we got together as a team and promised to deliver the dream wedding that they deserve,” said Carnival Freedom Hotel Director Nikhil Khanna. “At Carnival, we want to make sure our guests are provided the vacation of a lifetime and when these types of unforeseen circumstances come up we take great pride in creating these surprise and delight moments that our guests will remember forever.”

Public Invited to Help Choose Artist to Paint New NCL Terminal at PortMiami
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, a leading global cruise company which operates the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, in collaboration with The Nader Museum, today opened the public voting for its first ever Call to Artists.

The submissions for the masterpiece to be featured at Norwegian’s new state-of-the-art terminal were narrowed down to 20 local artists, who will be celebrated at the Gary Nader Art Centre in Wynwood, Miami. The public has an opportunity to help choose the winner by reviewing the 20 finalists’ submissions here and submitting a vote to info@nadermuseum.com. Voters need only email the artist name and number associated with the artwork. Voting begins today and closes on Sunday, March 15, 2020.

In addition to his/her artwork featured on the terminal wall for a year, the winner will receive $100,000 and a 10-day artist residency at the Artist Loft on an Oceania Cruises ship. The artwork will debut in June at the grand opening of the new terminal, dubbed the “Pearl,” where it will be viewed by millions of guests who arrive or depart from PortMiami as well as all those transiting the MacArthur Causeway.

“We received an overwhelming response from the South Florida art community, and we’re honored that so many talented artists are looking to be a part of our story,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “The ‘Pearl’ will be a significant part of Miami’s iconic skyline, which is why we invite the public to help us choose the artwork that will reside on our terminal and be reflective of our city’s unique flair.”

The artwork of the 20 finalists is currently on display through Thursday, March 19, 2020 in a special exhibition open to the public at the Gary Nader Art Centre located at 62 NE 27th Street Miami, Florida 33137. The winner will be chosen through a combination of public votes and by a selection committee comprised of art experts. The winner will be announced at an invitation-only function on Thursday, March 19, 2020.

At nearly 166,500 square feet, the new Norwegian Cruise Line terminal, designed by Miami-based global architect firm Bermello, Ajamil & Partners Inc., will accommodate ships of up to 5,000 passengers. The modern terminal draws its inspired design from the Fibonacci nautilus, with its spiraled and multi-level façade, providing vast grand water views. A dedicated lounge and service area will offer a warm and welcoming arrival for guests, and a new parking garage and valet parking area with direct access to the terminal will streamline the arrival and departure process for more efficiency.

Royal Caribbean Comments on Liquidity Actions and 2020 Outlook in Wake of Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd today announced that due to the spread and recent developments related to the COVID-19 outbreak, Carnival said that it has increased its revolving credit capacity by $550 million bolstering Carnival said that it 's liquidity.

The company is pursuing additional actions to improve its liquidity by reducing capital expenditures, operating expenses and taking other actions to improve liquidity by at least a further $1.7 billion in 2020. The company is also planning reductions to the 2021 capital expenditures and operating expenses.

The company had previously communicated that its 2020 guidance did not include the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Given the recent government actions and the heightened impact and uncertainty of changes in the magnitude, duration and geographic reach of COVID-19, Carnival said that it is withdrawing its first quarter and full-year 2020 guidance.

"These are extraordinary times and we are taking these steps to manage Carnival said that it prudently and conservatively," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO. "I am proud of the work our teams are doing to address this unprecedented situation."

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 21.74 - 34.24%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 48.27 - 40.08%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.53 - 1.85%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 19.81 - 44.34%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which ship carried U.S. president Woodrow Wilson to France for the Versailles peace conference?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Cunard's Queen Mary 2 carries a distictive item that was originally installed on board the original Queen Mary which is now serving as a hotel in Long Beach, California. What is this distinctive item?

Answer - The QM2 carries the horn from the second funnel of the original Queen Mary, now in Long Beach, CA.
courtesy of Bill Cwiklo


Cruise News - March 2, 2020

Cruise Lines Update Screening Procedures In Wake Of Coronovirus
As part of the cruise industry’s continued commitment to the health and safety of guests and crew, as well as the residents of port cities and destinations around the world, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the leading voice of the global cruise industry, announced today the adoption of additional enhanced screening measures in response to COVID-19.

As a result of these changes, which are effective immediately, CLIA members are to:

• Deny boarding to all persons who have travelled from, visited or transited via airports in South Korea, Iran, China, including Hong Kong and Macau, and any municipality in Italy subject to lockdown (quarantine) measures by the Italian Government, as designated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, within 14 days prior to embarkation.

• Conduct illness screening for all persons who have travelled from, visited or transited via airports in any destinations listed on the U.S. CDC “Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel” page within 14 days before embarkation. Illness screening includes symptom history checks for fever, cough and difficulty breathing in the 14 days before embarkation and taking of temperature.

• Deny boarding to all persons who, within 14 days prior to embarkation, have had contact with, or helped care for, anyone suspected or diagnosed as having COVID-19, or who are currently subject to health monitoring for possible exposure to COVID-19.

• Conduct pre-boarding screening necessary to effectuate these prevention measures. Enhanced screening and initial medical support are to be provided, as needed, to any persons exhibiting symptoms of suspected COVID-19.

In coordination with cruise lines, medical experts and regulators around the world, CLIA and its member lines will continue to closely monitor for new developments related to COVID-19 and will modify these policies as necessary with the utmost consideration for the health and safety of passengers and crew. With strict measures in place, as guided by national and international health authorities, CLIA and its member lines, in concert with pronouncements from the World Health Organization, do not believe restrictions on the movement of ships are justified.

“The adoption of these measures further demonstrates the cruise industry’s unique ability to respond quickly as circumstances evolve,” said Kelly Craighead, President and CEO of CLIA. “We remain in close contact with local governments around the world, and while we regret that these changes will result in the denial of boarding for some of our guests, travelers should know that their health and safety is the absolute priority for the industry.”

MSC Meraviglia Given 'Clean Bill Of Health'
MSC Cruises has said its ship MSC Meraviglia has been given 'a clean bill of health' by Mexican health officials following medical checks on a crew member and a young female guest who both had common seasonal flu after the vessel arrived in Cozumel, Mexico.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises, said: "The Mexican authorities followed the correct maritime protocols whereby a ship in advance provides medical records of any passenger or crew member who is or has been unwell to the next port she visits."

Health experts boarded the ship to check the medical condition of one crew member and one young female guest who had seasonal flu. In addition to the checks that are customarily run to give a ship a clean bill of health, out of an excess of precaution they conducted overnight additional tests on both of them.

The results were tested at a Mexican Ministry of Public Health laboratory in the city of Chetumal and determined that the condition of both the crew member and guest was in no way whatsoever associated with the COVID-19 coronavirus. The ship was given a clean bill of health.

MSC Meraviglia previously had been unable to make scheduled calls to both Ocho Rios, Jamaica and George Town, Grand Cayman. Passengers couldn't disembark at either island because local authorities had decided to ignore the same established health protocols that today saw the ship receive a clean bill of health.

Mr Vago added, "We would like to thank the Mexican authorities for their preventative health professionalism, which is the only way to demonstrate certainty to populations ashore, as well as to guests and crew on board.

"The disappointing decisions by Jamaica and Grand Cayman to bar our ship to allow our passengers to disembark and enjoy their islands was born out of fear, not best medical practice. This led to unnecessary and unjustifiable anxiety, not only for our passengers and crew on board, but right across the Caribbean's tourism sector, and possibly even further beyond."

Passengers on board MSC Meraviglia will be able to spend a full day today (Friday, February 28) ashore in Cozumel. The ship will depart later tonight to return to her homeport of Miami, Florida on Sunday, March 1.

MSC Cruises has told all of its 4,580 guests on board that they will receive a 100 percent refund of their cruise fare due to the disruptive nature of their vacation.

Carnival Victory En Route to Cadiz, Spain for 38-Day Dry Dock, Will Emerge as Carnival Radiance
Let the transformation begin! Carnival Victory departed PortMiami this afternoon bound for Cadiz, Spain, where she will undergo a $200 million dry dock and emerge as Carnival Radiance this spring.

Following a trans-Atlantic crossing, the dry dock will take place over 38 days with the ship’s team members and contractors working around the clock to totally transform the 102,000-ton vessel adding a variety of exciting new spaces and experiences.

Carnival Radiance will mark the seagoing debut of Big Chicken created by Carnival’s Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal, as well as many of the line’s most popular dining, bar, entertainment and attraction options.

New offerings added to Carnival Radiance during its bow-to-stern makeover will include Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse created by Food Network star and longtime partner Guy Fieri, Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant, Bonsai Sushi, and the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub.

All of the ship’s public spaces will also be updated including the WaterWorks aqua park, youth facilities, retail shops, Cloud 9 Spa, the SportSquare outdoor recreation complex with a suspended ropes course, and a new Liquid Lounge home to Carnival’s award-winning Playlist Productions shows.

Additional Details on Mardi Gras’ French Quarter Zone Revealed
Gearing up for the arrival of the new Mardi Gras later this year, Carnival Cruise Line revealed additional details on the ship’s French Quarter zone in the latest episode of “Behind The Fun: The Making of Mardi Gras.”

In a nod to the festive culture of New Orleans, the French Quarter will showcase a variety of options for lively entertainment as well as delicious dining and cocktail experiences.

These include Brass Magnolia, a bar inspired by the city’s Garden District and jazz culture. Adorned with ornate décor reminiscent of the grand mansions of the South, brass instruments and a vibrant gold bar with lush greenery wall accents, guests will enjoy live jazz and blues along with classic cocktails.

Also featured is the Fortune Teller Bar, featuring Victorian design elements with a contemporary twist, conveying the uniqueness of New Orleans with hand-crafted cocktails that change color, bubble and shimmer. The curated collection of interactive cocktails blended with mesmerizing effects includes the Abracadabra, the Golden Galaxy made with real gold and the all-black New Moon.

Completing the French Quarter will be Emeril’s Bistro 1396, world-renowned chef and restaurateur Emeril Lagasse’s first seagoing restaurant. Named after Mardi Gras’ hull number at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, the restaurant will showcase Lagasse’s signature dishes including cochon de lait po-boys and his famous barbecue shrimp, as well as Creole favorites including gumbo and jambalaya.

These spaces are highlighted in the latest of the eight-episode video series featuring Carnival’s Vice President of Beverage Operations Edward Allen who joins Lagasse in his New Orleans restaurant to sample a few of the French Quarter’s food and beverage offerings and talk through the zone’s look and feel. The episode can be viewed here.

Hosted by Mardi Gras’ Cruise Director Matt Mitcham and Brand Ambassador John Heald, the behind-the-scenes series is available on all of Carnival’s social channels, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram leading up to the ship’s maiden voyage from Port Canaveral, Fla., November 14, which kicks off a year-round seven-day schedule of Caribbean voyages from the Space Coast.

Norwegian Cruise Line Announces "Extraordinary Journeys" and New 2021 Itineraries
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel with a 53-year history of breaking boundaries, introduces “Extraordinary Journeys,” a curated portfolio of port-intensive itineraries designed to offer more immersive and meaningful experiences around the world, and opens for sale select 2021 itineraries on Norwegian Jade, Pearl, Sky, Star and Sun.

The new destination category, Extraordinary Journeys, features a collection of longer, one-of-a-kind port-rich voyages, that inspire a sense of discovery and broader connection with places around the world. From the 22-day African Safari and Seychelles voyage on Norwegian Dawn, to the 15-day Alaska journey on Norwegian Sun, these immersive expeditions have guests globetrotting across continents and to the most desired destinations on Earth.

“The new Extraordinary Journeys itineraries are meant to stir a sense of wonder and encourage meaningful travel, whether you’re looking to disconnect or reconnect with the people and world around you,” said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer for Norwegian Cruise Line. “Travel broadens our horizons and allows us to reset. With cruises from 11 to 22 days sailing and calling to nearly every continent, we are inspiring our guests to discover their own extraordinary journey with us.”

NEW 2021 EXTRAORDINARY JOURNEYS
From Jan. 2 to April 16, Norwegian Star will sail eight Extraordinary Journeys, seven in South America and one in Northern Europe. She will sail a series of 14-day voyages from Santiago (San Antonio), Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina, from Jan. 2 to March 13, offering guests the opportunity to explore the continent’s Pacific and Atlantic coasts by sailing around its southernmost point – Cape Horn. Throughout her voyage, she will visit Puerto Montt, Puerto Chacabuco and Punta Arenas, Chile; Ushuaia and Puerto Madryn, Argentina; Stanley, Falkland Islands; and Montevideo and Punta del Este, Uruguay.

On March 27, travelers will discover six countries and transit the Panama Canal on Norwegian Star’s 17-day South America itinerary before arriving to Miami. She will visit Coquimbo and Arica, Chile; Pisco, Lima (Callao) and Trujillo (Salaverry), Peru; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Roatan, Honduras; Harvest Caye, Belize; and Costa Maya, Mexico.

Returning to Europe on April 16, Norwegian Star will depart New York on a 16-day Extraordinary Journey to Southampton, United Kingdom, cruising to the British Isles, France and Iceland. She’ll call to Halifax, Nova Scotia; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Dublin and Cork (Cobh), Ireland; Liverpool and Portland, United Kingdom; Paris (Le Havre), France; and an overnight in Reykjavik, Iceland, allowing guests more time to discover the city’s stunning natural beauty.

Norwegian Jade will feature a 15-day Extraordinary Journey on April 22, from New York to Amsterdam visiting Halifax, Nova Scotia; an overnight in Reykjavik, Iceland; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Holyhead, United Kingdom; Paris (Le Havre), France and Brussels/Bruges (Zeebrugge), Belgium.

To explore the complete list of Extraordinary Journeys available, click here.

PANAMA CANAL
Beginning Jan. 13, the Company will introduce roundtrip Panama Canal cruises from Panama City. Eight to 16-day itineraries will be available on Norwegian Sun through March 17 and nine-day voyages on Norwegian Sky from Nov. 2 to 29. Guests will begin or end their cruise from either side of the Panama Canal, in Colon or Fuerte Amador, Panama, sailing from coast-to-coast and exploring some of the most sought-after destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America. Ports of call include Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; Puerto Limon and Puntarenas, Costa Rica; San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; Acajutla, El Salvador; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; Huatulco, Cozumel, Costa Maya, Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Cartagena, Colombia; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curacao; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Roatan, Honduras; Castries, St. Lucia; Basseterre, St. Kitts; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; the Company’s private resort area in Belize, Harvest Caye and its private island in the Bahamas, Great Stirrup Cay.

Norwegian Sun will also feature select Panama Canal voyages between Port Canaveral, Fla. and Panama City in January and February. On March 25, she will cruise from Panama City to Seattle to reposition to Alaska. In October and December, Norwegian Sky will sail select Panama Canal cruises between Miami and Panama City. On Dec. 23, Norwegian Pearl will offer an 11-day voyage roundtrip from Miami.

EUROPE
Beginning in May, Norwegian Star and Norwegian Jade will sail nine to 12-day voyages to the British Isles. Visiting the culturally rich cities of Brussels/Bruges (Zeebrugge); Amsterdam; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Dublin (Dun Laoghaire) and Cork (Cobh), Ireland; Holyhead, London (Tilbury) and Liverpool, United Kingdom; Glasgow (Greenock), Kirkwall, Inverness (Invergordon) and Edinburgh (Newhaven), Scotland; Paris (Le Havre); and Akureyri, and an overnight call to Reykjavik, Iceland. Norwegian Star will cruise from Southampton, United Kingdom through May 14, and Norwegian Jade from Amsterdam through June 25.

On July 4, Norwegian Jade will reposition to the Baltic region to sail 10-day cruises from Stockholm; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Amsterdam; in addition to select seven-day roundtrip voyages from Copenhagen. Travelers will journey across Europe visiting the historical sites of Berlin (Warnemünde and Rostock) and Kiel, Germany, Tallinn, Estonia, Helsinki and Kotka, Finland; Stockholm and Visby, Sweden; Gdynia, Poland; Riga, Latvia; Klaipeda, Lithuania; including an overnight call to St. Petersburg, Russia.

MEDITERRANEAN
On April 5, Norwegian Pearl will depart Miami on a 16-day transatlantic voyage, visiting Ponta Delgada, Azores; Seville (Cadiz), Granada (Malaga), Valencia and Barcelona, Spain; Cannes, France; and Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy, before arriving to Rome (Civitavecchia) to commence a season of cruises to the Greek Isles. She will sail a port-rich 11-day itinerary from Rome (Civitavecchia), exploring the most coveted cities in Italy, including Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Naples, and Messina (Sicily); the Greek isles of Rhodes, Mykonos, Volos and Santorini; and Kusadasi and Istanbul, Turkey, before homeporting in Athens (Piraeus), Greece for her first season of seven-day roundtrip journeys.

From May 2 to Nov. 7, she will offer destination-intensive itineraries to Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Israel from Athens (Piraeus), calling to one or two ports a day and delivering only seven days at sea during the entire season. Guests will explore the historical, religious and beautiful sites of the region with full days in Ashdod and Haifa, Israel; Istanbul, Turkey; and Mykonos and Santorini, Greece. Additional ports of call include Kusadasi, Turkey; Patmos, Volos and Rhodes, Corfu and Argostoli, Greece; Limassol, Cyprus; and Palermo, Italy.

Returning to Miami, on Dec. 7, Norwegian Pearl will embark on a 16-day voyage from Rome (Civitavecchia) and visit Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy; Provence (Marseille), France; Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante, Seville (Cadiz) and Granada (Malaga), Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; and Ponta Delgada, Azores.

From Oct. 24 through Nov. 4, Norwegian Jade will offer 11-day itineraries to the Greek Isles from Venice, Italy and Barcelona, Spain. Visiting the picturesque coastal towns of Dubrovnik, Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro, Corfu, Santorini, Athens (Piraeus), Olympia (Katakolon) and Volos, Greece; Naples, Rome (Civitavecchia), Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Messina (Sicily), Italy; Provence (Marseille), France; and Kusadasi and Istanbul, Turkey, guests will enjoy only one or no days at sea.

For travelers looking for an extended voyage, Norwegian Jade will embark on an 18-day journey from Athens (Piraeus), Greece to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Guests will explore the highly regarded wonders of the Middle East and Africa with overnight calls to Ashdod, Israel and Safaga, Egypt. The itinerary also includes visits to Haifa, Israel; Port Said and Suez Canal, Egypt; Aqaba, Jordan; Salalah, Khasab and Muscat, Oman; and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

AFRICA
Departing Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Dec. 3, Norwegian Jade will sail an 18-day itinerary calling to Muscat, Oman; La Digue and Port Victoria Seychelles; Nosy Be, Madagascar; Port Louis, Mauritius; Pointe Des Galets, Reunion; Port Elizabeth, Mossel Bay, Richard’s Bay overnight, before arriving to Cape Town, South Africa.

ALASKA
Joining Norwegian Jewel, Bliss and for the first time Norwegian Encore in Alaska, Norwegian Sun will sail a mix of five, seven and nine-day voyages from Seattle beginning April 27 through Oct. 7. Guests will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the beauty and culture of Alaska, with calls to Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Icy Strait Point; as well as discover the charm of Victoria, British Columbia.

BAHAMAS
Throughout 2021, Norwegian Sky will offer warm-weather escapes with three, four and five-day cruises to the Bahamas from Miami, calling to Key West, Fla.; Nassau, Grand Bahama Island and the Company’s recently enhanced private island Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. Norwegian Pearl will also offer select three and four-day cruises to the Bahamas in January and April. CARIBBEAN Norwegian Pearl will sail a series of five and 10-day itineraries to the Caribbean from Miami over select dates in January and March. Guests can relax in the sun with calls to Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas; Willemstad, Curacao; Oranjestad, Aruba; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; Harvest Caye, Belize; and Costa Maya, Mexico.

On April 11, Norwegian Jade will sail an 11-day itinerary from Tampa, Fla. to New York, calling to the Caribbean ports of George Town, Grand Cayman; Oranjestad, Aruba; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Castries, St. Lucia; and St. John’s, Antigua.

Beginning April 19 to Oct. 17, guests can explore the best the Caribbean has to offer with Norwegian Sky’s five to nine-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami, calling to Puerta Plata, Dominican Republic; St. Thomas, U.S Virgin Islands; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas; Key West, Fla.; Cozumel, Mexico; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Roatan, Honduras; Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos, and Harvest Caye, Norwegian’s private resort area in Belize.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 33.06 - 12.45%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 80.56 - 16.61%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.54 - 3.57%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 35.59 - 16.42%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Cunard's Queen Mary 2 carries a distictive item that was originally installed on board the original Queen Mary which is now serving as a hotel in Long Beach, California. What is this distinctive item?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Name the 1972 book and author that contributed significantly to the renewal of interest in ocean liners and cruise ships? Bonus Question: Name the follow-up book published in 1985.

Answer - THE ONLY WAY TO CROSS and LINERS TO THE SUN by John Maxtone Graham
courtesy of George Kennan


Cruise News - February 24, 2020

Penélope Cruz Stars As Godmother At Naming Ceremony For Costa Smeralda
Special celebrations were held Saturday in Savona for the naming ceremony of Costa Smeralda, Costa Cruises' new flagship, powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The ship's godmother and star of the event was international celebrity Penélope Cruz, who performed the ribbon-cutting duties with the traditional breaking of the bottle against the bow of the ship in the presence of the Master of Costa Smeralda, Paolo Benini. Also starring at the celebration was the Italian multi-starred chef Bruno Barbieri, who personally conceived and presented a special gala cocktail, giving guests a taste of his creativity and experience.

The event for Costa Smeralda continued with an extraordinary acrobatic show called "Dream" produced by the creative genius of Viktor Klee and staged in the splendid setting of the Colosseo, the innovative and technologically advanced theatre located at the center of the ship, with nine of the world's best acrobats. The celebrations ended with a spectacular display of fireworks launched from a barge positioned in the stretch of sea in front of the Priamar Fortress, lighting up the sky of Savona and giving the ship a fitting send-off.

Costa Smeralda is a breakthrough for the cruise industry, as she represents an exceptional combination of environmental innovation, smart technologies and Italian excellence in design, food and experiences.

Costa Smeralda is a tribute to Italy thanks to the extraordinary creative project led by designer Adam D. Tihany that celebrates Italy and gives guests the chance to experience the best it can offer, all in one place. The furnishings, lighting, fabrics and upholstery, and accessories were all made in Italy especially for the new flagship, by 15 partners who are all ambassadors of Italian excellence, and all spaces are inspired by Italy's long history of setting industry trends.

A celebration of Italian design is showcased in the CoDe - Costa Design Museum, the first-ever museum on a cruise ship. The amenities on board are perfectly in line with their sumptuous surroundings. Highlights include the Solemio Spa, the entertainment areas, theme bars in collaboration with leading Italian brands, 16 restaurants and "food experience" areas, including those conceived for casual family dining.

The innovative Ristorante LAB offers guests the chance to have fun cooking and learning about food sustainability at the same time. A new concept of entertainment onboard, based on shows and happenings going on at the same time in different parts of the ship, transforms Costa Smeralda into a unique entertainment venue.

The ship is as a "travelling smart city," where sustainable technologies and circular economy concepts are applied to reduce the environmental footprint and support sustainable cruising. With her innovative technological propulsion system based on LNG, the most advanced fuel technology currently available to reduce emissions, she is able to virtually eliminate sulfur dioxide emissions (zero emissions) and particulate matter (95-100% reduction), while greatly reducing emissions of nitrogen oxides (direct reduction of 85%) and CO2 (up to 20%).

On board, special desalinisation plants process seawater directly to meet daily water supply requirements, and energy consumption is reduced to a minimum thanks to an intelligent energy management system. Waste is managed on board with 100% separate collection for recycling of plastic, paper, glass and aluminum, using an integrated approach inspired by circular economy projects. Finally, the 4GOODFOOD program applied on board is designed to reduce food waste and to recover food surpluses for social betterment in cooperation with the European Federation of Food Banks.

"It is a pleasure to officially welcome Costa Smeralda to our fleet," said Michael Thamm, Group CEO of Costa Group, which includes Costa and Germany's leading brand, AIDA Cruises, and Carnival Asia. "This ship is the perfect combination of Italian excellence, which is the key heritage of the Costa brand, and sustainable innovation, for an unforgettable vacation experience. As the market leader in Europe, we are committed to being the first to introduce environmental innovation and lead the way in sustainable cruising for the cruise industry. We were the first company to invest in LNG and we are currently working to develop other sustainable technologies such as battery storage, fuel cells and liquefied gas from renewable energy sources."

"The naming of a new ship is always very exciting – especially in the case of Costa Smeralda, because she is an unprecedented project," said Costa Cruises President Neil Palomba. "A cruise holiday on this ship allows our guests to enjoy memorable experiences both on board and ashore – whether it is the food, relaxation, high-tech entertainment or authentic encounters in the destinations we visit. This is the Costa of the future, providing us with new opportunities to grow the market and attract consumers who have never been on a cruise before."

The Costa Group was the first cruise operator in the world to pioneer the advanced LNG propulsion system and has ordered a total of five new LNG-fueled ships, two of which – Costa Smeralda and AIDAnova – are already in service. They are part of the Costa Group's fleet expansion plan, with a total of seven new ships slated for delivery by 2023 and an overall investment worth over €6 billion.

Costa Smeralda entered service on December 21, 2019. She is operating on a one-week itinerary in the Western Mediterranean with calls at Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Civitavecchia/Rome and La Spezia. This summer, the new flagship will also be calling at Cagliari, while a stopover in Palermo is planned starting in winter 2021/22.

Celebrity Apex Returns From Successful First Sea Trial
Celebrity Apex returned to the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint Nazaire, France, over the weekend following a very successful first sea trial. As anticipated, the Celebrity Cruises ship followed in the footsteps of its Edge Series sister ship, the award-winning Celebrity Edge, far surpassing performance expectations.

The trial, conducted between February 4 – 8, 2020, in the Bay of Biscay near the shipyard, was overseen by more than 50 crew members, including engineers and nautical experts. Despite the optimal trial conditions, including strong winds and waves, the second-in-series ship showcased a superior level of comfort and fuel efficiency thanks to the revolutionary design of the Parabolic Ultrabow.

“The purpose of a sea trial is to test the functionality of the ship, but this wasn’t just any sea trial – and Celebrity Apex isn’t just any ship,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “In typical Edge Series-fashion, the ship absolutely exceeded our expectations, performing perfectly in line with our above-and-beyond operating standards.”

“It was an absolute honor to stand at the helm of Celebrity Apex for her highly successful first sea trial,” said Celebrity Apex Captain Dimitris Kafetzis. “Celebrity Apex is truly a beautiful and highly advanced vessel.”

Celebrity Apex encores the transformational look and feel of the line’s first Edge Series ship, Celebrity Edge, with such distinctive features as the floating Magic Carpet cantilevered off the ship's side inviting guests to eat, drink and soar up to 16 decks above the sea; the all-exclusive experience for all suite guests in The Retreat; dramatically expanded staterooms with Infinite Verandas; soothing indoor and outdoor garden escapes; magnificent two-story Edge Villas with their own private terrace and plunge pool; and high-style spaces throughout public areas, keeping focus on the contemporary design elements that are a highlight of the Edge Series of ships.

It then adds new culinary, spa and wellness, and entertainment features and experiences guaranteed to make Celebrity Apex the industry’s “it” ship. Celebrity Apex will also debut new, all-inclusive amenities and pre-cruise concierge services in The Retreat for all suite guests.

Celebrity Apex will begin its inaugural season on April 1, 2020, with a mini-season of five sailings to Northern Europe destinations and then spend the summer sailing seven-to-12-night itineraries in the Mediterranean. In November, Celebrity Apex will reposition to Fort Lauderdale for a winter season of week-long Caribbean sailings.

Hurtigruten's MS Roald Amundsen Makes History
Hurtigruten has announced a history-making event: The world's first hybrid electric–powered expedition ship, Hurtigruten's own MS Roald Amundsen, has traveled the furthest south of any company ship in the expedition cruise line's 127 years of business.

After crossing the Antarctic Circle earlier this week, Captain Torry Sakkariassen and his crew continued south; on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 at 4:14 PM Antarctica time, MS Roald Amundsen reached the ice edge at 70º south.

"Our guests are thrilled! This is what Hurtigruten's expedition cruises are all about, pushing new frontiers and creating unique experiences for guests from all over the world. We are following in the footsteps of polar hero Roald Amundsen himself, aboard his namesake ship," said Captain Sakkariassen.

Nearly finished with her 18-day cruise that visits the Chilean Fjords and the Falkland Islands, as well as Antarctica, MS Roald Amundsen will complete one more cruise in the region before journeying up through South and Central America, and ultimately spending the summer in Alaska.

MS Roald Amundsen is the world's first hybrid electric–powered expedition cruise ship, equipped with large battery packs that significantly reduce emissions, as well as a specially designed ice-strengthened hull, which allows her to operate in areas other ships cannot reach. Her sister ship, MS Fridtjof Nansen, will also run on a hybrid electric–powered propulsion system, and will embark on her maiden voyage this spring.

Disney Cruise Line Returns to Greece
In summer 2021, Disney Cruise Line will sail a variety of itineraries around the world including a return to Greece – back by popular demand – and exciting and varied European destinations, Alaska ports and tropical locales. Plus, Disney Cruise Line will visit three first-time ports of call in Greece, Sweden and Norway.

In summer 2021, a new collection of itineraries is part of Disney Cruise Line’s grand tour of Europe. From May through July, the Disney Magic will visit captivating locales in the Mediterranean including the Greek Isles, Spain and the French Riviera. From late July through September, the ship will transport guests to bucket-list destinations in the British Isles, northern Europe, the Baltic, Iceland and Norwegian fjords.

The Disney Magic will return to the awe-inspiring beauty of Greece in summer 2021, where guests can marvel at the stunning landscapes and archeological wonders of the region, like Santorini with its iconic whitewashed cliffside dwellings and Mykonos with beautiful beaches along the azure Aegean Sea. Four special voyages will visit the Greek Isles, with cruises ranging from eight to 11 nights.

Each of these unique Mediterranean itineraries combines a selection of stops in Greece with visits to other notable cities in the region. Noteworthy ports of call in Greece include Katakolon near ancient Olympia – home to the first Olympic Games – and the gorgeous Greek island of Kefalonia, a first-time port of call for Disney Cruise Line.

One cruise features a stop at the city of Dubrovnik, Croatia, known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic.” The walled medieval Old City of Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage site that offers spectacular seaside views and centuries-old cobblestoned lanes to explore.

Additional first-time ports of call for Disney Cruise Line include the medieval city of Visby, Sweden, considered to be one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Scandinavia and the village of Eidfjord, Norway, home to geographic wonders and situated at the foot of Hardangervidda, Norway’s largest national park.

Carnival Cruise Line Signs Five-Year Agreement with City of Norfolk
Carnival Cruise Line today announced that it has signed a five-year agreement with the City of Norfolk to operate seasonal cruises from the Half Moone Cruise Center through 2025.

The announcement was made at a press conference by Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Alexander who was joined by Carnival’s Senior Vice President of Nautical and Port Operations Terry Thornton.

As part of the agreement, the City of Norfolk has agreed to make investments at the Half Moone Cruise Center to accommodate larger vessels and provide an enhanced guest experience including a new boarding bridge that will streamline the embarkation and debarkation process and a host of other improvements.

At the press conference, Alexander and Thornton also announced that 130,000-ton Carnival Magic will become the largest cruise ship to ever sail from Norfolk when it launches a series of 12 cruises from the port in 2021 that will carry nearly 50,000 guests.

“Norfolk has been a valued partner for nearly 20 years, and we’re delighted to expand upon this relationship with this five-year contract that will bring exciting new choices from the Half Moone Cruise Center,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Our cruises from Norfolk have been very well received by our guests, and this new agreement speaks volumes about our confidence in growing this market.”

Added Mayor Alexander, “This is an exciting announcement. Carnival Cruise Line ships have become a welcome addition to our skyline. This commitment strengthens that partnership and solidifies Norfolk’s position as a true Mid-Atlantic cruise port.”

Carnival Magic introduced many of the line’s signature elements now featured across the fleet, including the Caribbean-themed RedFrog Pub, the Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant and SkyCourse, a suspended ropes course with breathtaking views to the sea 150 feet below.

The ship also offers hundreds of balcony staterooms and suites – perfect for watching the passing scenery – along with a complimentary children’s programs in three age groups, luxurious Cloud 9 Spa, the Ocean Plaza indoor/outdoor dining and entertainment promenade, a Serenity adults-only retreat and a WaterWorks aqua park with two massive slides, a tipping bucket and a kiddie splash zone.

Carnival Magic’s 2021 schedule from Norfolk offers vacationers a variety of options, from short getaways to The Bahamas and Bermuda to longer length voyages to the Caribbean, all departing from this convenient and centrally located homeport.

The schedule includes:

May 16 and June 5: six-day cruises to Freeport, Nassau and the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay

May 22 and 31, June 11, and Oct. 4 and 30: five-day voyages featuring Freeport and Nassau

May 27: four-day long weekend sailing to Bermuda returning on Memorial Day

Sept. 29: five-day voyage to Bermuda

Oct. 9: eight-day cruise to Grand Turk, San Juan and St. Thomas

Oct. 17: six-day voyage to Bermuda

Oct. 23: seven-day sailing visiting Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay and Nassau.

Prior to the start-up of its Norfolk schedule in 2021, Carnival Magic will offer a series of sailings in the Mediterranean and undergo a two-week dry dock in Cadiz, Spain, before repositioning to the U.S.

Moët & Chandon Sets Sail With Norwegian Cruise Line To Debut A New Luxury Bar
Moët & Chandon, the world's biggest Champagne house, and Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel, together opened the first-ever luxury Moët & Chandon Ice Bar, located on Great Stirrup Cay, the cruise line's private island in the Bahamas.

As part of the island's new exclusive oceanfront resort-style destination, Silver Cove, the Moët & Chandon Ice Bar offers guests the most exceptional Champagnes combined with breathtaking views for one of the most luxe and remote #MoëtMoments on earth. The exotic barscape is a stunning marvel - flanked by lush palm trees, ample outdoor seating, direct beach access, and decadent cocktails.

The touch of luxury from the Moët & Chandon Ice Bar makes it the ideal place to retreat and recharge. The stand-alone outpost creates a fun and fresh vibe and is THE chic place to listen to the island's soft sounds and enjoy a refreshing drink. The lush jungle contrasts with the crystal-clear blue waters providing one of the most dramatic and picturesque bars in the world. Bartenders treat guests with meticulous sips and innovative hand-crafted cocktails made with Moët Ice Impérial and Moët Ice Impérial Rose – including the fan-favorite Moët Melon On The Rocks.

MOËT MELON ON THE ROCKS

Ingredients:
4.0 oz Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial
3 Large Ice Cubes
0.5 oz Fresh Lime Juice
0.75 oz Volcán Tequila Blanco
1 oz Fresh Watermelon Juice
6 mint leaves

Glass: Wine Goblet

Garnish: Chunk of watermelon, slice of lime and mint sprig

Method: Add all ingredients except champagne to a shaker. Muddle watermelon (if fresh) and mint leaves. Add ice and shake well. Strain into a large wine goblet (Slap a mint leaf and run around the rim of the glass) and top with 4oz of Moët Ice Imperial and top off with three large ice cubes. Garnish with watermelon, lime slice and mint sprig. The opening of Silver Cove elevates the offerings available across the 270-acre tropical oasis with 38 luxury beachfront villas, private beach access, a Mandara Spa, oceanfront lagoon, and the Silver Cove Restaurant and Bar.

As one of the highest guest-rated ports in the Caribbean, the private island of Great Stirrup Cay offers over 1,500 feet of accessible beachfront; over 50 cabana and villa options; an array of shore excursions to choose from. The island includes a new zipline experience that extends up to nearly 3,000 feet; almost a dozen food and beverage options; and a magnificent natural tropical setting.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 37.76 - 11.36%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 96.61 - 14.63%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.56 - 5.08%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 42.58 - 18.83%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the 1972 book and author that contributed significantly to the renewal of interest in ocean liners and cruise ships? Bonus Question: Name the follow-up book published in 1985.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Almost all cruise ships have a wide variety of bars and lounges where passengers can relax with a cocktail before or after dinner. What was the traditional name of the behind-the-scenes watering hole for crew members on the Queen Mary and other Cunard liners?

Answer - The name "Pig and Whistle" was the name given to the Crew Bar on the RMS Queen Mary. This named was carried over to most Cunard Liners including Queen Elizabeth 2.
courtesy of Larry P Macdonald, Belmont, MA. USA


Cruise News - February 17, 2020

Virgin Voyages Celebrates Delivery Of Scarlet Lady
Virgin Voyages announced today that the Scarlet Lady has officially reached completion. Nearly three years in the making, Virgin Voyages formally welcomes its first 'Lady Ship,' Scarlet Lady, in its fleet of four to the open waters, departing the shipyard in Genoa, Italy. In just 46 days, Sailors will embark on the Maiden Voyage, departing from her home port in Miami.

On the heels of this celebratory occasion, Virgin Voyages welcomes Scarlet Lady with an industry-leading approach that takes immediate action to address climate change. Not only has the brand designed its fleet of ships to the latest energy-efficiency standards with state-of-the art equipment, Virgin Voyages is offsetting its direct climate change emissions through the purchase of carbon offsets. This commitment makes the brand the first cruise line to become carbon-neutral for its direct emissions footprint from its first day of commercial operation. The projects that will be supported by Scarlet Lady will meet high-quality, internationally-recognized verification standards, including The Gold Standard and the Verified Carbon Standard.

"It's wonderful to welcome Scarlet Lady today," says Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson. "I'm so proud that as we start this exciting journey, we also bring to life Virgin Voyages' commitment to preserving the ocean and the first of many steps towards a net zero carbon future."

The brand has recognized that climate change is an urgent, global issue for every industry and business. Like others, Virgin Voyages' long-term ambition is a net-zero carbon future. This will require significant advancements in technology and infrastructure, and access to solutions that remain in development. And, Virgin Voyages is committed to working with the industry to support the necessary research and development to advance carbon-free fuels and to scale commercially viable solutions.

"The ocean is our home, and we are on a mission to protect it. The single-biggest threat facing our ocean is climate change, and we want to be part of the solution," said Tom McAlpin, CEO and President of Virgin Voyages. "We are committed to pioneering new technologies onboard and working with our industry peers to advance research and development for zero-carbon fuels."

Virgin Voyages is one of first cruise lines to use Climeon, a technology that utilizes heat generated from the ship's engines to generate electricity, thereby decreasing the demand for fuel. While the industry continues to improve on the journey for readily available and commercially viable solutions, purchasing high-quality carbon offsets allows us to take immediate action, while also supporting a long-term strategy that secures a net-zero future for the cruise industry.

RCL Deploys Ships In Support Of Humanitarian Efforts
At a time when it feels like there are too many disasters around the world and not enough relief, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced it will dedicate two ships to humanitarian efforts in Australia and California to support some of the people affected by recent crises.

The coronavirus outbreak has caused pain and disruption around the world. It is a stark reminder of the hurt that these terrible events can bring—and how fortunate we are that such traumatic events are not more frequent. "When things go wrong, this is a company that wants to find a way to help," said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "At Royal Caribbean, we consider ourselves fortunate to be able to use our ships in a positive way during difficult times."

Fain said Royal Caribbean was working with its suppliers to deliver one million N-95 protective masks into China for government distribution into affected areas. "We admire the all-out efforts of the Chinese government and people to address this crisis, and we want to bring our resources to bear to help their efforts," Fain said.

Spectrum of the Seas will travel to Australia and be deployed on complimentary cruises sailing from Sydney in support of Australia's first responder community, who worked tirelessly over many weeks of the bush fire crisis.

"We are in a fortunate position to offer these brave and selfless members of the Australian community the opportunity to join us for a few days and let them relax and unwind in Carnival said that it of other volunteers and first responders," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. "By welcoming and accommodating them aboard Spectrum of the Seas, we hope to recognize their contribution and offer them our hospitality."

Bayley noted that the ship and its crew have not been in China for more than two weeks, exceeding public health guidelines.

And when circumstances improve, Bayley said, Royal Caribbean International will dedicate a ship in China to a series of complimentary sailings to thank first responders and medical personnel for their heroic efforts to defeat the virus.

In addition, Celebrity Millennium is repositioning to the west coast of the US earlier than previously scheduled and will offer a series of "Cruising for Heroes" sailings in support of California firefighters, other first responders, and veterans throughout March and April. A variety of three-, four- and five-night sailings have been added to the brand's offerings to travel the breathtaking Pacific Coast. The sailings will leave from Los Angeles and details will be announced soon.

"The women and men of Celebrity were keen to have this opportunity to give back, even though this repositioning presented a challenging timeline," Fain said. "We know the hard work and sacrifice of those who have been keeping Californians safe, and it feels good to be able to say 'thank you.'"

Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, said, "While the circumstances have not been what any of us would have wanted, we now have the opportunity to show the State of California our stunning Celebrity Millennium and do some good in the process by honoring and helping our everyday heroes who do so much for so many. Celebrity Millennium is a beautifully appointed ship and was recently revolutionized. It's exciting to share it with this market and to honor the men and women who come to the aid of others every single day."

Further details of the cruises will be shared as final itineraries are developed.

Norwegian Cruise Line Introduces All-New Norwegian Spirit Following an over $100 Million Revitalization
Norwegian Cruise Line this week unveiled the all-new Norwegian Spirit following an over $100 million renovation as part of The Norwegian Edge program, which reaffirms the Company’s commitment to elevating the standard of excellence across the fleet.

Norwegian Spirit emerged from a 43-day dry dock in Marseille, France to arrive to Civitavecchia, Italy, boasting 14 new venues, additional and updated staterooms, enhanced public areas and new hull art. She will set sail on a series of immersive 17, 20 and 28-day exotic expeditions spanning three continents, departing from Civitavecchia, Italy on Feb. 14, 2020; Dubai, United Arab Emirates on March 2, 2020; and Cape Town, South Africa on March 22, 2020, before homeporting in Athens (Piraeus), Greece for the first time on April 19, 2020.

She will offer a season of seven-day voyages to the Greek Isles, Turkey, and Israel through Nov. 8, 2020. Open for sale on Feb. 15, 2020, the new destination-rich itineraries, many which boast extended port times, will explore seven or eight ports in seven days, calling to sought-after destinations including Rhodes, Mykonos; Santorini and Corfu, Greece; Kusadasi and Istanbul, Turkey; Ashdod and Haifa, Israel; Limassol, Cyprus as well as two new ports of call for the brand, Patmos and Volos, Greece.

As the most extensive bow-to-stern revitalization of any ship in the Company’s history, Norwegian Spirit’s enhancements include a doubled-in-size Mandara Spa, complete with a new thermal suite and relaxation area; an expanded Pulse Fitness Center; and the second Onda by Scarpetta restaurant at sea. New complimentary dining venues include an additional main dining room, Taste; the 24-hour eatery, The Local Bar and Grill; the all-day dining outlet, Garden Café; the Great Outdoors Bar; and Waves Pool Bar. Making their debut are Bliss Ultra Lounge and Spinnaker Lounge, which features the Humidor Cigar Lounge, as well as the adults-only retreat Spice H2O, a daytime lounge featuring two new hot tubs and a dedicated bar, which transforms into an after-hours entertainment venue.

Norwegian Spirit will emerge from dry dock single-use plastic beverage bottle free as part of a significant effort towards providing guests with more sustainable options at sea. As of Jan. 1, 2020, Norwegian Cruise Line is the first major cruise line to eliminate single-use plastic beverage bottles across its entire fleet, an effort made possible through a recent partnership with JUST Goods, Inc.

“It is truly exciting to celebrate Norwegian Spirit’s sail out of dry dock to incredible destinations following her significant renovation,” said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Europe is the number one destination for international arrivals, and we are very proud to position Norwegian Spirit for her first post-dry-dock season in this high-demand region. Our brand has been recognized 12 times in a row by the World Travel Awards as ‘Europe’s Leading Cruise Line’ and we are thrilled to offer our guests even more great itineraries in the region, allowing them to explore multiple destinations while unpacking only once.”

The revitalized Norwegian Spirit further strengthens the Company’s presence in Europe, where the cruise line will position a total of seven ships in 2020: Norwegian Spirit, Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Star, Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Jade.

Carnival Fascination to Move to Mobile in 2022
Carnival Cruise Line today announced that Carnival Fascination will move from its current homeport of San Juan, PR and be based in Mobile, Ala., effective Jan. 16, 2022.

Carnival Fantasy will continue its popular four- and five-day cruise schedule from Mobile through January 2022, at which time Carnival Fascination, will pick up the itineraries. In conjunction with today’s announcement, Carnival Fascination itineraries from Mobile will open for sale later today. Guests currently booked on Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Fascination through January 2022 will not be affected and voyages will operate as planned.

“Carnival Fascination will bring some exciting new features to the Mobile market, including a greater variety of balcony accommodations, a Bonsai Sushi Express venue, the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar and a Cherry On Top sweets shop,” said Fred Stein, Carnival’s vice president of revenue planning and deployment. “We have worked with the Mobile community over the last several years to successfully build demand and create this opportunity for a newer ship to enter the market.”

In the coming months, Carnival is expected to announce plans for Carnival Fantasy. In addition, its deployment team continues to evaluate options to return to San Juan after 2022 with a ship that can resume calls to eastern and southern Caribbean destinations currently served by Carnival Fascination.

Disney Wonder Sets Sail on Inaugural Voyage from New Orleans
Disney Cruise Line has just embarked on an inaugural season sailing from New Orleans. This also marks the very first time that Disney Cruise Line has had a homeport in Louisiana. On the Disney Wonder’s first departure from the Crescent City on Feb. 7, 2020, the ship received a celebratory bon voyage from Princess Tiana, Prince Naveen and members of the traditional New Orleans Treme Brass Band.

This cruise that has just commenced kicks off a limited-engagement season sailing from New Orleans in 2020, and Disney Cruise Line will be returning to New Orleans again in early 2021. These voyages visit the Bahamas, Caribbean and include stops at Disney’s private island paradise, Castaway Cay.

Those in the area can experience the magic of having a Disney ship in their own backyard. For guests joining Disney Cruise Line from farther away, they can savor the excitement and flair of the Big Easy both onboard and ashore.

In New Orleans, there’s magic around every corner as visitors recognize the iconic sights and sounds that inspired the Disney animated film “The Princess and the Frog.”

Onboard the Disney Wonder, Disney Cruise Line is “gonna take you there!” with a celebration of New Orleans dining and entertainment at Tiana’s Place restaurant and a menu that draws inspiration from the flavors and ingredients of the Louisiana bayou.

At the brand new French Quarter Lounge, guests are transported deeper into the story to enjoy live jazz music, sip a New Orleans-themed specialty drink and dance the night away. Throughout the days, family activities, trivia, workshops, crafts and music bring the bayou spirit of family gatherings and fun to life.

Royal Caribbean International Sign Agreement For First Royal Beach Club
Royal Caribbean International and the government of Antigua and Barbuda, along with the assistance of the Consulate General of Antigua and Barbuda, have signed an agreement for Carnival said that it ’s first Royal Beach Club. The agreement marks the start of the planning and development for the Royal Beach Club scheduled to break ground later this year.

Created exclusively for Royal Caribbean guests, the Royal Beach Club at Antigua will sit along more than a half-mile of pristine beachfront and combine the island’s striking beaches with the cruise line’s signature service and amenities. The ultimate beach club experience will offer guests exceptional views from private cabanas and a stunning pool with a swim-up bar, complemented by locally inspired experiences. Featuring regional fare, island-style BBQs, live music, along with thrills such as jet skis, paddle boarding, snorkeling, and a family splash pad, the beach club will make for an unforgettable day at the beach.

“The Royal Beach Club will deliver a memorable beach day to our guests,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Together with the government of Antigua and Barbuda, we will bring to life an experience that will bring more visitors to these idyllic islands and create significant economic benefits and opportunities. In addition, we are looking at ways for the local community to also enjoy the beach club on days our ships are in other destinations.”

The cruise line has also committed to bringing Symphony of the Seas to the island nation with a call on Nov. 3, 2020. Docking at a new port at the capital of St. John’s, Symphony will be the first Oasis Class ship to visit the island. While visiting St. John’s, guests on board Symphony will have the opportunity to experience the rich culture and heritage of the island, delectable delicacies and some of the world’s best beaches.

The Honorable Charles Fernandez, Minister of Tourism, Economic Development and Investments, Government of Antigua and Barbuda, said: “The government of Antigua and Barbuda is truly grateful and appreciative that Royal Caribbean’s first Royal Beach Club will be in Antigua, which confirms confidence in our twin island state. We are also excited to share our beautiful island with guests sailing aboard Royal Caribbean ships when they begin calling to the island later this year.”

Princess Cruises Sets Guinness World Record
rincess Cruises, the cruise line known for its legacy of romance and co-starring role on the hit TV show "The Love Boat," set the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the largest multi-location vow renewal after 1,443 couples reaffirmed their love for one another during simultaneous ceremonies onboard three ships.

The record-breaking mass renewal of vows ceremonies took place on the top decks of Regal Princess, Royal Princess and Crown Princess, on February 11, 2020, with three official GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS Adjudicators on each ship to verify the record. The previous record was 1,201 couples, set in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

"A record-setting accomplishment has to be measurable, verifiable and have a single superlative," explained Michael Empric, GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS Adjudicator onboard Regal Princess. "It's always exciting being a part of a new official record, especially when it's aboard 'The Love Boat.' You could feel the excitement and love in the air from all of the couples participating in this monumental moment with Princess."

Celebrity officiants onboard Regal Princess sailing in the Caribbean included Gavin MacLeod, who portrayed the endearing Captain Stubing on "The Love Boat" with his television daughter, Jill Whelan, who played Vicki, serving as matron of honor. For those couples sailing onboard Royal Princess to Cabo San Lucas and Crown Princess, also in the Caribbean, the Captains of each ship officiated the ceremony.

"For more than 20 years, Princess has hosted renewal of vows ceremonies, helping thousands of couples reconnect and celebrate their love for one another," said Gavin MacLeod, Princess Cruises ambassador. "This is the first time we attempted to break a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title so this particular milestone is extra special and it's been amazing to hear from the guests who booked this cruise especially to become a part of history with Princess Cruises."

The cruise line surveyed participating couples, representing nine countries, and discovered the following romantic fun facts:

• The Award for Most Romantic Princess Couple Goes to …: An Australian couple onboard Regal Princess who celebrated many milestones with Princess – they got engaged on a Princess ship, then were married two hours before renewing their vows on Feb. 11. To top it all off, they've even booked their first anniversary cruise next year, staying closer to home Down Under on a Princess cruise in Australia.

• Everlasting Love: The longest married couples renewing their vows included onboard Royal Princess at 69 years, Crown Princess with 64 years and Regal Princess celebrating 63 years.

• "I Do…Again!": A total of 76 couples previously renewed their vows on a Princess cruise.

• Places for Passion: Nearly 40 percent of respondents said the Mediterranean is the most romantic destination, with Alaska coming in second at nearly 25 percent.

• For the Love of Sunsets: The vast majority of couples (87 percent) prefer sunsets over sunrises.

• Chocolate vs. Bubbly: When it comes to celebrating, the vote was a little closer: 54 percent prefer chocolate, while the other 46 percent prefer champagne.

Carnival Corporation Issues Update On Financial Impact Of Coronavirus
Carnival Corporation & plc is closely monitoring the evolving situation with respect to Coronavirus. The safety of guests and employees, compliance and protecting the environment are top priorities for Carnival said that it . The company's medical experts are coordinating closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization to implement enhanced screening, prevention and control measures for its guests, crew and ships. The company's global team is working tirelessly to support guests impacted by voyage disruptions during this unprecedented time.

Travel restrictions as a result of Coronavirus necessitated the suspension of cruise operations from ports in China, as was previously announced, and are now resulting in the cancellation of voyages in other parts of Asia. Significant events affecting travel typically have an impact on booking patterns, with the full extent of the impact generally determined by the length of time the event influences travel decisions. As a result of Coronavirus, Carnival said that it believes the impact on its global bookings and cancelled voyages will have a material impact on its financial results which was not anticipated in Carnival said that it 's previous 2020 earnings guidance.

Since the situation continues to evolve, Carnival said that it is currently unable to determine the full financial impact on its fiscal year 2020. However, while not currently planned, if Carnival said that it had to suspend all of its operations in Asia through the end of April, this would impact its fiscal 2020 financial performance by $0.55 to $0.65 per share, which includes guest compensation. In addition, the impact on global bookings will further affect Carnival said that it 's financial performance. The company is currently evaluating contingency plans to mitigate the impact and will provide an update with its first quarter 2020 earnings release in late March.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 42.60 + 1.96%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 113.16 + 3.15%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.59 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 52.46 + 2.86%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Almost all cruise ships have a wide variety of bars and lounges where passengers can relax with a cocktail before or after dinner. What was the traditional name of the behind-the-scenes watering hole for crew members on the Queen Mary and other Cunard liners?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Very few photographs taken on board the Titanic during her fateful maiden voyage survived the ship's sinking. Name the passenger who contributed the largest collection and how did he or she survive the sinking?

Answer - The passenger that took the most photos on the Titanic's maiden voyage was Father Francis Brown. He was onboard the Titanic only to her second port of call, Queens Town (now Cobth), Ireland and therefore was not on the Titanic at the time of the sinking.
courtesy of Monica Graham, Cleveland, OH


Cruise News - February 10, 2020

Diamond Princess Coronavirus Outbreak Updates
Princess has released the following updates regarding the Coronavirus outbreak onboard the Diamond Princess:

Updated February 9, 2020
Princess Cruises confirms an additional 66 cases of Coronavirus as tested by the Japanese Ministry of Health on Diamond Princess. These cases are from Australia (four), Canada (one), England (one), Japan (45), Philippines (three), Ukraine (one) and USA (eleven).

We are following guidance from the Japan Ministry of Health on plans for disembarkation protocols to provide medical care for these new cases.

Since it is early in the quarantine period of 14-days, it was not unexpected that additional cases would be reported involving individuals who were exposed prior to the start of the quarantine.

The Japan Ministry of Health has been the lead public health authority defining the testing protocols for all guests and crew on Diamond Princess. Questions on the timeline, test results and reporting protocols should be directed to them. The quarantine end date remains at February 19, unless there are any unforeseen developments.

Because of the extraordinary circumstances onboard Diamond Princess, Princess Cruises will refund the full cruise fare for all guests including air travel, hotel, ground transportation, pre-paid shore excursions, gratuities and other items. In addition, guests will not be charged for any onboard incidental charges during the additional time onboard.

Princess Cruises will also provide guests with a future cruise credit equal to the cruise fare paid for the voyage which ended on February 4.

Princess Cruises also confirmed that although all gratuities will be refunded back to guests Carnival said that it will ensure crew members receive their designated gratuities for the work performed.

Guests have been provided a letter delivered to their stateroom with details on how to process this refund.

Updated February 8, 2020
Princess Cruises confirming an additional six cases of Coronavirus, tested by the Japanese Ministry of Health on Diamond Princess. Separately, over the past two days, ten guests were disembarked needing other medical (not for Coronavirus) and were transferred to local hospitals. Information on nationalities of these new guests will be forth coming.

“Our guests and crew onboard Diamond Princess are the focus of our entire global organization right now and all of our hearts are with each of them,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “In this unprecedented situation, the Japanese Ministry of Health authorities are working with us collaboratively on additional enhancements, approving new procedures as we adapt our process to the unique challenges of this situation.”

In partnership with the Japan Ministry of Health the ship has received additional medications which are being sorted and distributed based on medical and urgent priority.

The company continues to look for the most effective ways to help keep guests healthy, which includes mental health. Telephone access has been arranged for guests experiencing mental stress with trained counselors who can provide support. Both English and Japanese-speaking counselors are available, and guests can call directly from their staterooms.

In-stateroom television programming improves by the day and printed newspapers in 30 languages are available. The ship’s entertainment team has added TV satellite stations along with an additional 50+ movies added in various languages and other entertainment. Guests also have access to fitness and exercise videos such as Tai Chi and yoga.

Updated February 6, 2020
Our team on board Diamond Princess, supported by our shoreside colleagues, is actively working to care for our guests to ensure their comfort and well-being. These are such unusual circumstances so our team has activated new in-room entertainment offerings which include:

• Eight (8) new satellite TV channels

• More than 80 new video-on-demand releases, including movies in various languages, concerts and in-cabin fitness videos

• Cruise Director Show (The Wake Show) in English and Japanese

• Printed newspapers in 36 languages

• Pre-printed trivia, daily puzzles, games and arts and crafts

• Radio Taiso (popular calisthenics) videos

• Kids’ activity packs

• Food & beverage options offered via room service

• Outdoor time for guests in interior staterooms (under the guidance of Japanese Ministry of Health)

Hollannd America's Westerdam Denied Docking At Five Ports Due To Unfounded Coronavirus Fears
Holland America announced that Westerdam will finally be allowed to dock in the Cambodian port of Sihanoukville on Wednesday, where its passengers will be able to disembark, after panic about the coronavirus prompted five ports to turn away the cruise ship.

The current cruise began in Hong Kong on February 1 and will end on Thursday morning in Sihanoukville, according to a statement from the cruise line. Thailand on Tuesday became the latest country to block the cruise ship's passengers from disembarking. It had already been turned away by ports in Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, and the US territory of Guam.

"All approvals have been received and we are extremely grateful to the Cambodian authorities for their support," the statement said.

Westerdam will arrive at 7:00 a.m. local time on Thursday, Feb. 13 and will remain in port for several days for disembarkation. Guests will be able to go ashore.

Guests will disembark in Sihanoukville over the next few days and transfer via charter flights to Phnom Penh for forward travel home. Holland America Line will arrange and pay for all flights home, in addition to the full cruise refund and 100% future cruise credit already communicated.

All guests on board are healthy and despite erroneous reports there are no known or suspected cases of coronavirus on board, nor have there ever been.

Future Westerdam voyage plans are still being finalized. The Feb. 15 cruise scheduled to embark in Yokohama has been cancelled. No cancellations for cruises with departure dates beyond Feb. 15 have been announced at this time. However, we are assessing the impact of current port restrictions in Asia on cruises departing Feb. 29 or later. We will communicate details as they become finalized in the next few days.

In the statement, Holland America said "We sincerely thank our guests and the crew on Westerdam — and their loved ones — for their patience during this extraordinary time".

Royal Caribbean Reports Record 2019 Results
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today reported 2019 US GAAP earnings of $8.95 per share and adjusted earnings of $9.54 per share and announced that 2020 adjusted earnings are expected to be in the range of $10.40 to $10.70 per share. Given the fluidity of the circumstances related to the Wuhan Coronavirus and the actions being taken to contain its spread, the 2020 adjusted guidance provided herein does not include any financial impact related to this subject.

In addition, Royal Caribbean said that it today introduced its 20>25 by 2025 program which is designed to give people throughout Carnival said that it specific goals to work towards. The program includes several goals by 2025: delivering $20.00 adjusted earnings per share; further reducing Carnival said that it 's carbon footprint by 25%; delivering strong returns on invested capital; and continuing to improve on record guest satisfaction and employee engagement metrics.

Full Year 2019 results:

• For the full year, US GAAP Net Income was $1.9 billion or $8.95 per share and Adjusted Net Income was $2.0 billion or $9.54 per share versus US GAAP Net Income of $1.8 billion or $8.56 per share and Adjusted Net Income of $1.9 billion or $8.86 per share in 2018.

• Gross Yields were up 8.2% in Constant-Currency (up 7.0% As-Reported). Net Yields were up 8.0% in Constant-Currency (up 6.7% As-Reported).

• Gross Cruise Costs per Available Passenger Cruise Days ("APCD") increased 8.7% in Constant-Currency (up 8.0% As-Reported). Net Cruise Costs ("NCC") excluding Fuel per APCD were up 11.4% in Constant-Currency (up 10.8% As-Reported).

Full Year 2020 guidance:

• Wave season has started on a very robust basis with strong demand especially in the US and European markets.

• As previously announced, the Wuhan Coronavirus and the efforts to contain it are expected to negatively affect our results. While we expect this to be temporary, the situation is highly fluid and the overall impact cannot reasonably be estimated at this time. Accordingly, our guidance does not include any provision for the impact of the outbreak. We will update our guidance as the situation stabilizes and we can reasonably estimate its impact.

• Net Yields are expected to increase 2.25% to 4.25% in Constant-Currency and 2.5% to 4.5% As-Reported.

• NCC excluding Fuel per APCD are expected to increase 1.75% to 2.25% in both Constant-Currency and As-Reported basis.

• Adjusted earnings are expected to be in the range of $10.40 to $10.70 per share.

20>25 by 2025 Program:

These goals have been put in place to focus our leadership on achieving outsized improvements in our performance going forward. We believe that what gets measured gets better and - just like the Double-Double program - we believe that this 20>25 by 2025 program will help focus our people on the key success factors for our future. This program not only focuses on earnings and carbon footprint, it will also focus on further improving our guest satisfaction and employee engagement while continuing to deliver strong returns on invested capital.

"We are pairing ambitious business and environmental goals because we all understand that businesses must do our part to meet the needs of all our stakeholders," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO. "Over the last years, our people have worked hard to deliver strong performance on both profitability metrics and important societal goals. This 20>25 by 2025 program should help take those efforts to the next level."

FULL YEAR 2019 RESULTS

US GAAP Net Income for the year was $1.9 billion or $8.95 per share and Adjusted Net Income was $2.0 billion or $9.54 per share. This result was achieved despite a series of extraordinary events including the dry-dock incident in the Grand Bahama shipyard, the cancellation of the cruises to Cuba and an unusual hurricane season, all of which negatively impacted Carnival said that it 's results for the year.

Net Yields were up 8.0% in Constant-Currency. The consolidation of Silversea's operations, the new cruise terminal in Miami, the Perfect Day development, new hardware and strong demand for our core products drove the year-over-year increase.

NCC excluding Fuel per APCD were up 11.4% in Constant-Currency. The main drivers behind the year-over-year increase were the consolidation of Silversea's operations, the new cruise terminal in Miami, investments in our private destinations and technology, and more drydock days.

FOURTH QUARTER 2019 RESULTS

US GAAP Net Income for the fourth quarter was $273.1 million or $1.30 per share and Adjusted Net Income was $297.4 million or $1.42 per share. Last year, US GAAP Net Income was $315.7 million or $1.50 per share, and Adjusted Net Income was $322.1 million or $1.53 per share. The negative impact of the cancellation of the sailings to Cuba and the disruption generated by Hurricane Dorian were the main drivers of the decline in the year-over-year results during the quarter.

Gross Yields were up 6.2% in Constant-Currency. Net Yields were up 6.8% in Constant-Currency, within guidance.

Gross Cruise Costs per APCD increased 9.6% in Constant-Currency. NCC excluding Fuel per APCD were up 15.9% in Constant-Currency, higher than guidance driven by marine costs and employee related expenses.

Additionally, lower depreciation expenses and a higher contribution from our joint ventures positively impacted the quarter's performance vs. guidance.

Bunker pricing net of hedging for the fourth quarter was $468.4 per metric ton and consumption was 380,400 metric tons.

FULL YEAR 2020 GUIDANCE

Royal Caribbean said that it is very encouraged about the demand environment for 2020. Wave Season has started on a strong note with overall rates higher than same time last year and booked load factors ahead of same time last year on a like-for-like basis. The company's new ships and new attractions are a major driver not only of revenue, but of the strength of its brands. Demand for the core products is very strong across all quarters. Recent geopolitical events such as the brushfires in Australia and unrest in the Middle East have impacted demand for certain itineraries, but the strength of the core products has more than compensated.

Royal Caribbean said that it expects a Net Yield increase in the range of 2.25% to 4.25% in Constant-Currency and 2.5% to 4.5% As-Reported for the full year.

Royal Caribbean said that it is very excited about the introduction of four new ships during 2020. These new ships will be important contributors to the yield growth and profitability. The timing of the new ship deliveries will result in a more significant yield growth in the second half of the year than in the first half.

"Our yield outlook for 2020 is very encouraging with higher pricing on top of an exceptional 2019 performance," said Jason T. Liberty, executive vice president and CFO. "It's clear that the Coronavirus will impact revenue in China in the short term, but we are a long-term business and our plans to continue growing this profitable market remain unchanged. We are also very excited about the introduction of our 20>25 by 2025 goals. Our formula for success is simple and our path towards our EPS goal is driven by moderately growing our yields, effectively managing our costs and moderately growing our business. Meanwhile, our emissions target, which is one of our many sustainability initiatives, will further focus our world-class design, engineering and operations teams to meaningfully improve our environmental impact."

NCC excluding Fuel are expected to be up 1.75% to 2.25 % in both Constant-Currency and As-Reported basis. Operating costs for the full year show continued good discipline, although the cadence of costs between quarters will vary. Costs in the first half of the year are expected to be higher than the second half driven by more drydock days and the timing of ship deliveries.

Excluding any impact from the Coronavirus and taking into account current fuel pricing, interest rates, currency exchange rates and the factors detailed above, Royal Caribbean said that it estimates 2020 Adjusted EPS will be in the range of $10.40 to $10.70 per share.

Carnival Cruise Line Announces Officers for Carnival Radiance
Carnival Cruise Line has announced the senior leadership team for the totally transformed Carnival Radiance which is set to debut in Europe on April 29, 2020, following an extensive $200 million refurbishment in Cadiz, Spain.

Currently sailing as Carnival Victory, the ship will depart Miami March 2 for a 38-day dry dock and emerge as Carnival Radiance featuring all of the line’s culinary, beverage and entertainment innovations added as part of the line’s $2 billion fleetwide ship enhancement program.

Among Carnival Radiance’s many offerings will be the first-ever Big Chicken at sea restaurant created by the line’s Chief Fun Officer, NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal.

Carnival Radiance’s senior leadership team comprises some of the most experienced mariners in cruising:

• Captain Stefano Bonica/Captain Arik Mazzi: Captain Bonica will command the ship during dry dock while Captain Mazzi will take over once the vessel begins service in the U.S. Bonica attended Istituto Tecnico Nautico Caio Duilio in Messina and joined Carnival as a third officer in 2000. He was named captain in 2017 and has served on virtually every ship in the fleet during his two decades with Carnival said that it . Hailing from La Spezia, Italy, Mazzi served in the Italian Navy and joined Carnival Cruise Line as a deck cadet in 2000. During his 20 years with Carnival said that it , he has served on a number of ships in the fleet, most recently as captain of Carnival Fantasy, Ecstasy and Victory.

• Chief Engineer Giovanni Lombardo: A 25-year Carnival veteran, Lombardo followed in his footsteps of his father, also a chief engineer with Carnival said that it , when he joined Carnival as a third engineer aboard Carnival Ecstasy. After working on a number of vessels across the fleet, he was named chief engineer in 2007 and has served in this capacity primarily aboard the line’s Destiny-class ships.

• Hotel Director Caroline Bourke: The Cork, Ireland, native and 16-year company veteran was part of the inaugural team that introduced Carnival Radiance’s sister ship, Carnival Sunrise, last year. Bourke joined Carnival Cruise Line in 2004 and was promoted to guest services manager in 2009 before being named hotel director in 2016. Her hospitality career began at the Hayfield Manor Hotel after earning her degree from the Cork Institute of Technology in Ireland.

These experienced mariners will lead a team of more than 1,000 crew members who will travel to Cadiz to prepare Carnival Radiance for her inaugural voyage – a 10-day sailing from Barcelona April 29, kicking off a schedule of nine- and 12-day Mediterranean cruises. The ship will then reposition to New York to offer four- to nine-day cruises to Bermuda, the Caribbean and eastern Canada, as well as five- to seven-day voyages from Norfolk.

In November, Carnival Radiance shifts to Port Canaveral for six- to eight-day Caribbean voyages through May 2021 after which it will move to Galveston, significantly expanding the line’s offerings from that port.

New offerings added to Carnival Radiance during the bow-to-stern makeover will include Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse created by Food Network star Guy Fieri, Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant, Bonsai Sushi, and the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub. All of the ship’s spaces will be transformed including the water park, youth facilities, retail shops, Cloud 9 Spa and a new Liquid Lounge home to Carnival’s award-winning Playlist Productions shows.

Cunard Presents Line Up of 2020 Event Voyages
Cunard continues its exciting series of special Event Voyages in 2020 through which guests can celebrate and learn about topics ranging from fashion, literature, history, space and more. Programming onboard is specially curated to create thematic experiences and features exclusive speakers, activities and workshops. Event Voyages allow guests to pursue creative passions, casual interests and overall curiosities during seven uninterrupted days at sea on flagship ocean liner Queen Mary 2.

"We are excited to further enhance our Cunard Event Voyages for 2020 sailings," said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. "Our 2020 Event Voyages represent the very best in music, the arts, food and wine, and fashion and help to make these voyages among the most coveted in the industry."

The following Event Voyages are available on Queen Mary 2 during the 2020 Transatlantic season:

• London Theatre at Sea with the Olivier Awards, May 13-20, 2020 (M013): In partnership with the Olivier Awards, the Society of London Theatre's annual awards recognizing excellence in professional theatre, this seven-night Crossing showcases award-winning talent in conversation about their careers and talks on how productions are put together. Guests will have the chance to be involved in dance classes, choirs and design workshops as well as see "The Oliviers in Concert" in the Royal Court Theatre.

• Transatlantic Fashion Week, May 24-31, 2020 (M015): The fifth annual Transatlantic Fashion Week Crossing on Queen Mary 2 features Badgley Mischka who will launch their 2021 resort collection in an exclusive runway show during the voyage. They will also debut their capsule collection designed exclusively for Cunard, which will be sold onboard. Mark Badgley and James Mischka will offer a Q&A with guests during the seven-night voyage along with other industry experts who will share their experience and life in the world of fashion.

• Festival of Food & Wine, June 7-14, 2020 (M017): Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux Jr. will headline Cunard's first ever Festival of Food & Wine. His restaurant, Le Gavroche, which specializes in French cuisine, will be taken to sea as Roux Jr. indulges guests with a series of hosted dinners, cooking demonstrations and a Q&A. The Crossing will bring together additional experts from the culinary industry, including award-winning wine writer Will Lyons, food editor Lisa Markwell and celebrated wine critic Steven Spurrier. For guests particularly interested in the world of wine, there's a chance to join the Cunard Wine Academy while onboard to gain the Wine & Spirit Education Trust Level 1 Award.

• Journey of Genealogy with Ancestry, August 14-21, 2020 (M025): The Journey of Genealogy returns in 2020 to mark the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage. Events onboard will commemorate the significance of this iconic journey and experts from Ancestry, the largest online family history resource in the world, will be joining guests on board. Highlights of the voyage include Ancestry experts hosting talks themed around the historic Mayflower voyage and the stories of passengers onboard; guests can learn to trace their family trees through the centuries to find out how their DNA connects them to the world.

• The Greatest Generations Foundation Voyage, August 21-28, 2020 (M026): Cunard will pay tribute to the heroes of World War II during this voyage commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the end of the war. In partnership with The Greatest Generations Foundation, this seven-night voyage will offer guests the opportunity to attend daily programs with several WWII combat veterans, hearing first-hand about their experiences during the war. These distinguished war heroes will be honored onboard while engaging in moderated discussions and meet-and-greets.

• Big Band Ball: Inspired by the iconic big bands of the '30s and '40s, Cunard's Big Band Ball combines hugely talented musicians from venues across the ship with special guest musicians from the UK Big Band scene, to create a swinging 17-piece orchestra, accompanied by vocalists performing Big Band classics in the Queens Room for one very special evening. Note: This event voyage is available on Queen Elizabeth's seven-night sailing in Asia, March 24-31, 2020 (Q010); and on Queen Victoria's short break to Amsterdam and Bruges, August 19-23, 2020 (V024).

• Anthony Inglis and The National Symphony Orchestra, September 4-11, 2020 (M028): Anthony Inglis will conduct the UK's National Symphony Orchestra on this special Crossing as guests are treated to two spectacular performances in the Royal Court Theatre - an evening of American themed numbers, and the Last Night of the Cunard Proms itself. There will be a Q&A with Anthony Inglis, and guests will be able to audition for the choir and practice under the guidance of the NSO, then give a group performance during the evening's show.

• World Space Week, October 2-9, 2020 (M032): This year's World Space Week Crossing focuses on "Women in Space" and the role they've played in space travel. Guests will enjoy hearing from acclaimed speakers from the fields of astronomy, astrophysics, aerospace and astronautics; including Suzie Imber, Associate Professor of Planetary Science at the University of Leicester and Dr Suzanna Randall, Astrophysicist and trainee for the Astronautin initiative, aiming to send the first German women into space in 2020. In addition to space shows in Illuminations, the largest planetarium at sea, Queen Mary 2 is the perfect venue to stargaze, away from city light in mid-Atlantic skies.

• Transatlantic Music Week, October 23-30, 2020 (M035A): Cunard's first-ever Transatlantic Music Week will be filled with music from rock to jazz and gospel to opera. Performers include Grammy award-winner Midge Ure, gospel sensation Kingdom Choir, singers from the English National Opera, classical cellist Julian Lloyd Webber, lyricist Don Black and Broadway stars and performers Faith Prince, Seth Rudetsky and The Barricade Boys. Musical talent onboard will host workshops and Q&A sessions, while evenings will include recitals, fanfares and performances.

• Literature Festival at Sea, December 1-8, 2020 (M039): The Literature Festival at Sea in partnership with the Cheltenham Literature Festival, the Times and the Sunday Times, returns in 2020. The program features readings, talks and workshops with some of the world's most renowned names in literature. Award-winning authors Ian Rankin, Kate Mosse, Alexander McCall Smith, Prue Leith and more will join guests as they discuss their life and work and hold intimate author signings. Times columnists onboard will review the biggest news stories of the year while literary editors and critics will pick their favorite books.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 41.78 - 2.27%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 109.70 - 5.80%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.59 - 6.35%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 51.00 - 5.89%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Very few photographs taken on board the Titanic during her fateful maiden voyage survived the ship's sinking. Name the passenger who contributed the largest collection and how did he or she survive the sinking?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which former Swedish-American liner of 1966 is alive and well sailing today as a cruise ship? What is her current name and what was done in 1978 that forever changed her appearance?

Answer - ms Kungsholm (1966) built for the Swedish America Line was sold to P&O (UK) in 1978. Her forward funnel (dummy) was removed and more cabins added. She operated under various names for P&O and Princess Cruises. such as Sea Princess and Victoria.
courtesy of Larry P Macdonald Belmont, MA USA


Cruise News - February 3, 2020

Diamond Princess to be Quarantined for 14 Days After 10 Passengers Test Positive for Coronavirus
Princess Cruises announced that 10 passengers had tested positive for the Coronavirus during the first phase of health screening of all guests and crew onboard Diamond Princess, by the Japanese Ministry of Health. The cruise line said that amongst the samples that have completed testing, the 10 people who have tested positive for Coronavirus includes two Australian guests, three Japanese guests, three guests from Hong Kong, and one guest from the U.S. in addition to one Filipino crewmember.

These 10 persons, who have been notified, will be taken ashore by Japanese Coast Guard watercraft and transported to local hospitals for care by shoreside Japanese medical professionals. It has been confirmed that the ship will remain under quarantine in Yokohama. The length of the quarantine will be at least 14 days as required by the Ministry of Health.

The ship plans to go out to sea to perform normal marine operations including, but not limited to, the production of fresh water and ballast operations before proceeding alongside in Yokohama where food, provisions, and other supplies will be brought onboard.

Guests will continue to be provided complimentary internet and telephone to use in order to stay in contact with their family and loved ones, and the ship’s crew is working to keep all guests comfortable.

Princess Cruises will continue to fully cooperate with and follow the instructions of global medical authorities and the Japanese government.

We will also be cancelling the next two Diamond Princess cruises departing Yokohama (Feb 4 and Feb 12) and will begin notifying guests today.

Princess Cruises confirms there are 2,666 guests and 1,045 crew currently onboard covering a range of nationalities. Approximately half the guests onboard are from Japan.

Cancellation of Diamond Princess – February 4 Cruise (Yokohama) Princess Cruises thanks the Japan Ministry of Health for their thorough review of the health status of guests and crew aboard Diamond Princess. The cruise line has decided to cancel the next voyage of Diamond Princess to help facilitate the health screening and records review process. Diamond Princess was due to depart Yokohama (February 4, 2020) for an eight day round trip cruise. However, the decision was made to cancel the cruise because of the time needed for the authorities to complete their comprehensive review. All guests will receive a full refund. Each guest will also receive a one hundred percent future cruise credit. While this decision will be disappointing for our guests, we feel they will understand the commitment to continue to work closely with the health authorities because we share a common goal of looking after the safety and well-being of our guests, crew and the places we visit. Princess Cruises confirmed there are 2,666 guests currently onboard covering a range of nationalities. About half the guests are from Japan.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Takes Delivery Seven Seas Splendor
Regent Seven Seas Cruises announced today that it has welcomed to its fleet the Seven Seas Splendor. Delivered at Fincantieri's shipyard in Ancona, Italy, Regent's fifth ship builds on the cruise line's rich 28-year heritage offering guests An Unrivaled Experience with every luxury included.

At 55,254 gross tons and 735 feet in length, Seven Seas Splendor is Luxury Perfected. On board, the highest benchmarks of personalized service and comforts will be delivered by 551 professional crew members caring for 750 guests in 375 beautifully appointed suites, ranging from 307- to 4,443-square feet. Lavishly designed public spaces include five exquisite and unique restaurants and three elegant bars and lounges, while a $5 million curated art collection, more than 500 crystal chandeliers, and over an acre of Italian marble complement the ship's sophistication.

"Wherever you turn on Seven Seas Splendor, you will be surrounded by elegance, comfort and hospitality," said Jason Montague, president and chief executive officer of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. "Luxury travelers have anticipated this stunning new ship for more than two years. The day she opened for reservations was the busiest booking day in our company's history. We thank the talented team at Fincantieri for collaborating with Regent to achieve our ambitious vision of creating the ship that perfects luxury. Seven Seas Splendor demonstrates how Regent continues to deliver An Unrivaled Experience for guests across our fleet."

"Quality is a hallmark of both Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Fincantieri, and it has been our privilege to construct this important and remarkable ship that reflects Fincantieri's extensive abilities and its reference presence in the luxury cruise segment, a unique and competitive market niche in the shipbuilding industry," said Luigi Matarazzo, General Manager, Fincantieri Merchant Ships Division.

Helmed by Captain Serena Melani, the first female captain to take charge of a brand-new ocean cruise ship, Seven Seas Splendor sails her first official voyage on February 6, 2020 from Barcelona, Spain to Miami, Florida. The ship will be christened on February 21, 2020 by her Godmother, the legendary supermodel and actress Christie Brinkley, at a glamorous and elegant ceremony at PortMiami. Seven Seas Splendor will also be showcased to global media and travel partners on preview sailings throughout February and March.

Following her christening event, Seven Seas Splendor cruises the tropical paradises of the Caribbean and Mexican Riviera, which includes two crossings of the Panama Canal and one unique Southern Caribbean cruise from Miami to New York City. In spring, Seven Seas Splendor will traverse the Atlantic Ocean once more for its inaugural European season, offering cultural and historically rich ports of call in one of the world's most popular regions, the Mediterranean.

Seven Seas Splendor, the ship that perfects luxury, offers her 750 guests the most luxurious accommodations as she sails to the world's iconic destinations and less-familiar hidden gems.

The all-suite, all-balcony ship features more than 46,000 square-feet of Italian marble, and her 375 suites include nearly 52,000 square-feet of balcony space – among the largest balconies at sea. The beautifully appointed suites range from the 307 square-foot Veranda Suite to the lavish 4,443 square-foot Regent Suite.

Royal Caribbean Cancels Three Sailings Due To Coronavirus Concerns
Royal Caribbean Cruises issued a statement about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and announces the cancellation of three sailings.

As has been widely reported, China has moved aggressively to contain the spread of the virus. As a result of these measures, and after consultation with national and local health authorities, Royal Caribbean said that it has cancelled three sailings through Feb 8th, on the high yielding Spectrum of the Seas, currently its only ship homeported in China. Royal Caribbean said that estimates that this (which included the Chinese new year's cruises) will impact 2020 financial results by approximately $0.10 per share. If the travel restrictions in China continue until the end of February, Carnival said that it estimates that this would further impact its results by an additional $0.10 per share.

In the announcement, Royal Caribbean said that there are still too many variables and uncertainties regarding this outbreak to calculate the overall impact on the business. For example, Royal Caribbean said that it expect an erosion of consumer confidence in China could have an additional impact on load factor and rate in the region until the market normalizes. If these travel restrictions continue for an extended period of time, they could have a material impact on the overall financial performance of Carnival said that it .

For the winter sailing season, Royal Caribbean said that it only has one ship based in China; two additional ships are scheduled to join in May and July 2020, respectively. For all of 2020, China represents about 6% of Carnival said that it 's capacity.

Carnival Magic to Set Sail from Four Cities Across Two Continents in 2021
Carnival Magic will operate a diverse 2021 cruise schedule featuring two trans-Atlantic crossings, a series of European voyages, a summer schedule from New York and Caribbean sailings from Port Canaveral, Fla.

Carnival Magic will be among the newest and largest Carnival ships to sail from New York, providing consumers with a host of onboard dining, beverage and entertainment innovations as well as exciting outdoor attractions and experiences.

In total, Carnival Magic will sail from four cities across two continents visiting 33 different destinations in Europe, the Caribbean, Bermuda, The Bahamas, New England and Canada in 2021.

Carnival Magic will reposition for its 2021 European schedule with a 14-day trans-Atlantic voyage departing Miami on March 13 and arriving in Barcelona on March 27, 2021, calling at Bermuda; Ponta Delgada (Azores) and Lisbon, Portugal; and Malaga and Valencia, Spain.

The ship will then undergo a two-week-long dry dock followed by a series of seven- and eight-day Mediterranean cruises from Barcelona through April 25. These voyages call at some of the region’s most popular destinations, including Valletta, Malta; and Marseilles, France, as well as Livorno, Civitavecchia (Rome), Naples and Messina, Italy. Details on the dry dock will be provided in the coming weeks.

Carnival Magic will then return to the U.S. on a 12-day trans-Atlantic voyage from Barcelona to New York May 3-15, 2021, calling at Cartagena and Malaga, Spain; Funchal (Madeira), Portugal; and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Beginning June 17, Carnival Magic will kick off a summer schedule from New York operating four- to nine-day voyages to Bermuda, The Bahamas, the Caribbean, Canada and New England. The schedule runs through Sept. 24, 2021.

The program includes four-, five- and seven-day voyages to Bermuda, a four-day eastern Canada cruise, week-long fall foliage sailings to New England and eastern Canada, and seven- and eight-day Caribbean departures featuring top destinations like Amber Cove, Grand Turk, the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay, San Juan, St. Maarten, and St. Thomas.

Carnival Magic’s New York season also includes a nine-day Carnival Journeys voyage featuring tropical ports throughout the eastern Caribbean as well as special onboard programming and activities.

In November 2021, Carnival Magic will shift to Port Canaveral for a winter schedule of six- and eight-day Caribbean voyages from the Space Coast.

Two different six-day itineraries are offered – one visiting Amber Cove, Grand Turk and Half Moon Cay or Nassau while another features Cozumel, Belize and Costa Maya. Eight-day eastern Caribbean cruises call at St. Maarten, St. Kitts, San Juan, and Grand Turk, while eight-day southern Caribbean voyages feature Aruba, Grand Turk, and Curacao or Bonaire. There are also seven-day voyages visiting sunny, tropical destinations in the eastern and western Caribbean. The program runs through April 23, 2022.

One of the largest ships in the Carnival fleet, Carnival Magic introduced many of the line’s signature elements now featured on across the fleet, including the Caribbean-themed RedFrog Pub, the Cucina del Capitano family-style restaurant and SkyCourse, a suspended ropes course with breathtaking views to the sea 150 feet below.

The ship also offers hundreds of balcony staterooms and suites – perfect for watching the passing scenery – along with a luxurious Cloud 9 Spa, the Ocean Plaza indoor/outdoor dining and entertainment promenade and a WaterWorks aqua park with two massive slides, a tipping bucket and a kiddie splash zone.

Celebrity Cruises Sails Beyond the Edge with a Single Cut of Steel
Celebrity Beyond, the third ship in the highly acclaimed, award-winning Edge Series from Celebrity Cruises, has made the monumental move from concept to construct today as the first piece of steel was cut at the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.

"Celebrity Beyond is the perfect natural next-step in the Edge Series," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "The Edge Series is all about innovation and pushing beyond boundaries and convention, and Celebrity Beyond will continue this legacy."

"With the launch of our Edge Series, Celebrity Cruises redefined modern cruising. Celebrity Edge impressed the world with its outward-facing design and innovation; Celebrity Apex takes the onboard vacation experience to the pinnacle; and now with Celebrity Beyond, we're charting new territory once again," added Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. "While we can't say much just yet, with Celebrity Beyond three's a charm."

"This is a new milestone in the long success story we have with RCCL and Celebrity," stated Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l'Atlantique. "Celebrity Beyond will be the symbol of this cooperation based on mutual trust and our common innovation spirit."

With the second-in-class Celebrity Apex set to arrive in Southampton in April 2020, the brand expects delivery of Celebrity Beyond in fall 2021.

Royal Caribbean Debuts Coco Beach Club at CocoCay
Life is a beach at Royal Caribbean International’s new Coco Beach Club on Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas. Today, the cruise line welcomes its first guests to indulge in luxury chill at the private island destination’s newly opened beach club. The opening of Coco Beach Club marks the completion of the $250 million transformation – and phase one – of Perfect Day at CocoCay. The exclusive beach club touts the first floating cabanas in The Bahamas, an oceanfront infinity pool, beach cabanas, a dedicated restaurant with upscale dining and an exclusive bar. Rounding out Perfect Day at CocoCay is the opening of two new beaches – Breezy Bay at Chill Island and South Beach – open to all guests on the island.

Vacationers can soak up endless ocean views at this beachside escape filled with ways to lounge for every type of traveler. On deck – over the clear blue waters – 20 floating cabanas bring a bit of Bora Bora to the island as the first of their kind in The Bahamas. Each floating cabana features a private slide into the ocean, overwater hammock, dining area, freshwater shower, wet bar and an unbeatable ocean vista for a day of uninterrupted indulgence. Guests can also choose from 10 beach cabanas, luxe hideaways nestled on shore for optimal relaxation and awe-inspiring views. All cabanas in Coco Beach Club accommodate up to eight guests and feature loungers, a dining area, charging outlets, a minifridge, snorkel gear and a dedicated cabana attendant that will tend to a guest’s every need, from beachside drink to delicious bites.

The clubhouse is the center of social activity at Coco Beach Club with a bar serving specialty cocktails, including the Coco Cuvee signature drink, and a 2,600-square-foot, oceanfront infinity pool with in-pool loungers, daybeds and poolside service. The exclusive restaurant, complimentary and only for beach club guests, serves up an elevated menu that features fresh lobster, grouper and steak, plus a spread of salads, fruits and starters.

Guests looking to fuel their competitive fire can visit South Beach, the revamped action-packed beach destination for guests that features volleyball and beachside basketball. After working up an appetite, vacationers can grab a bite at the island’s third Snack Shack and a drink at any one of three bars, including the floating bar just offshore. If relaxation is the game plan, there are 10 new beachfront cabanas perfect for lounging in the shade.

To visit Coco Beach Club, guests must book a sailing calling on Perfect Day at CocoCay. This year, the private island will welcome 16 Royal Caribbean ships from more ports than ever, including Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, Florida; Bayonne, New Jersey; and Galveston, Texas.

The first in Royal Caribbean’s new Perfect Day Island Collection of next-level private island destinations around the world, Perfect Day at CocoCay welcomed its first guests in May 2019. The $250 million transformation of the line’s private island in The Bahamas includes Thrill Waterpark, which boasts 13 waterslides – including the tallest in North America; Oasis Lagoon, the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean; and Up, Up & Away, a helium balloon ride that offers the highest vantage point in The Bahamas at 450 feet.

Holland America Line Celebrates $6.5 Million Donated to Cancer Support Through Shipboard On Deck Walks
In recognition of World Cancer Day today, Holland America Line is proud to announce that it reached $6.5 million raised for cancer support through On Deck programming. Holland America Line began the program in 2006, and to-date nearly half a million guests have participated in the walks. Currently, On Deck for a Cause benefits five international cancer organizations in the United States, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands and United Kingdom.

On Deck for a Cause invites guests to participate in a noncompetitive 5k fundraising walk on every sailing aboard each of the line's 14 ships, with proceeds distributed among the American Cancer Society, Canadian Cancer Society, Cancer Council Australia, Cancer Research UK and KWF Kankerbestrijding (Dutch Cancer Society).

"On Deck has been at the heart of our giving program for nearly 15 years, and it's incredible that we're able to continue reaching new milestones each year, like $6.5 million thanks to the generosity of our guests and crew," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "We know that travel has the power to open minds, change perceptions and build deeper connections; and we also believe that coming together for a common cause helps inspire a sense of shared humanity. Cancer knows no borders and touches people's lives around the world. We look forward to the day when World Cancer Day is held in celebration of a cure."

Since its inception, nearly half a million participants have joined in more than 8,300 walks aboard Holland America Line cruises. Guests of all ages are invited to donate $20 to the Holland America Line Foundation, and on a day at sea participants join in a 5k non-competitive walk around the ship's decks. Guests may walk less or not at all, as they prefer. Participants receive an On Deck for a Cause T-shirt, wristband and a reception following the walk. Depending on the ship, the distance to reach 5k ranges from nine to 12 laps.

In 2020 more than 500 On Deck for a Cause events will be held across the Holland America Line fleet, with walks taking place globally on cruises to the Mediterranean, Europe, the Caribbean, the South Pacific, Alaska, Canada and New England, Mexico, Asia, the Baltic, the Panama Canal, Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and South America.

Soon it will be easier for guests to plan ahead and register online for the On Deck for a Cause walk prior to sailing as part of the online check-in process.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 42.75 - 5.57%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 116.45 - 0.39%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.63 - 10.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 54.19 + 0.06%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which former Swedish-American liner of 1966 is alive and well sailing today as a cruise ship? What is her current name and what was done in 1978 that forever changed her appearance?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which cruise ship was intended to be named "Future Seas" before being transferred to another cruise line and entering service under a different name.

Answer - Admiral Cruises ordered a newbuild ship "Future Seas", however Admiral Cruises was taken over by Royal Caribbean. RCL took over the newbuild and renamed her "Nordic Empress" She was renamed "Empress of the Seas". In 2007 she was transferred to Pulmantours, (Empress)a subsidiary of RCL. In 2015 she was given back to RCL and remamed "Empress of the Seas".
courtesy of Larry P. McDonald


Cruise News - January 27, 2020

Celebrity Cruises Unveils Encore In Edge Series With New Celebrity Apex
When the much-anticipated Celebrity Apex is christened on March 30, 2020, Celebrity Cruises will do more than continue the lineage of its groundbreaking Edge Series that began with the 2018 launch of Celebrity Edge. Celebrity Apex takes modern cruising to yet another whole new level, with the very latest culinary, spa and wellness trends, and progressive entertainment offerings.

The industry-leading, first-in-class Celebrity Edge has received more than 50 awards and was crowned one of TIME Magazine's 2019 World's Greatest Places[1]. It impressed the world with its innovative outward-facing design and visionary spaces created by world-renowned designers including: Kelly Hoppen, MBE (accomodations and suite experience); Tom Wright of WKK (ship exterior and open decks); Patricia Urquiola (interior design at The Club and Eden); Scott Butler, AIA (architect for Eden and The Theatre) Jouin Manku (Grand Plaza and circulation); and many more.

Celebrity Apex encores the transformational look and feel of its sister ship with such distinctive features as the floating Magic Carpet cantilevered off the ship's side inviting guests to eat, drink and soar over the sea up to deck 16; The Retreat, the all-exclusive experience for all suite guests; dramatically expanded staterooms with Infinite Verandas; soothing indoor and outdoor garden escapes; magnificent two-story Edge Villas with their own private terrace and plunge pool; and high-style spaces throughout public areas, keeping focus on the contemporary design elements that are a highlight of the Edge Series of ships.

It then adds new luxury features and experiences guaranteed to make Celebrity Apex the industry's "it" ship, including:

• New culinary venues, menus and programming

• An array of new firsts in beauty, fitness, and wellness

• Sweeping changes to The Theatre with state-of-the-art technology taking center stage in three all-new production shows to captivate audiences.

• New Eden experiences, transforming the breathtaking Eden venue into a myriad of moods.

"Celebrity Edge changed the cruise industry and raised the standard for modern luxury vacations," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises. "Celebrity Apex – the second ship in our revolutionary Edge Series – goes even further. It takes every onboard experience to the very peak of what's possible at sea."

Apex of Culinary

Already renowned as the industry's leading culinary brand, Celebrity further enhances its culinary palate on Celebrity Apex with evolved concepts, new delicacies and new menu offerings from Celebrity's Michelin-starred Chef Cornelius Gallagher, including:

• Craft Social Bar – This relaxed, casual bar space, will offer draft cocktails, wines on tap and more than 50 of the world's rarest craft beers served by a certified beer sommelier. Menu items will include contemporary comfort food cuisine like mac and brie, Kobe beef sliders, crispy chicken sliders and meat and cheese boards. Large-screen TVs will air live sporting events.

• A new 3-D digital animation dining experience at Le Grand Bistro – Celebrity Edge's first-at-sea digitally animated menu by Le Petit Chef will offer a new animated story on Celebrity Apex, enhanced by new menu creations from Chef Gallagher. A fusion of entertainment and dining, the menu offers such dishes as spring pea soup, King Crab farfalle pasta and filet mignon, while diners enjoy a story that chronicles the life adventures of Le Petit Chef who meets the girl of his dreams at age 12.

• A new Eden dining experience – This remarkable three-story indoor natural Wonderland, with sweeping panoramic, outward facing windows will feature an extraordinary culinary journey of new flavor-forward a la carte appetizers, entrees and desserts with ingredients sourced from local farms and fisheries in the lower-level restaurant. A sampling of new menu items includes fresh roasted Spanish prawns with melted peppers; cured fresh chorizo; slow-cooked shellfish broth with parsley, garlic, shallots and maldon sea salt from England; pastrami with Devonshire Dijon mustard emulsion, mashed potatoes cooked in duck fat; and crispy rye bread sautéed in butter and melted raclette cheese.

In addition, new menu items have been created for Raw on 5, Magic Carpet, Fine Cut Steakhouse, Rooftop Garden Grill, and the four Main Restaurants on Celebrity Apex: Cosmopolitan, Cyprus, Normandie, and Tuscan.

Apex of Entertainment:

Celebrity Apex debuts exciting new entertainment offerings, including three new stage shows in The Theatre; an intimate cabaret show in The Club; along with a variety of themed experiences and activities throughout the ship, including:

• The stunning, contemporary design of The Theatre incorporates new state-of-the-art technology features, including: 23-foot-tall 4K LED screen curving around the stage to immerse audiences like never before.
New 28-foot tall circular scrim and eight Panasonic 20K laser projectors for projection mapping to create a 360-degree wrap-around picture for audiences.
20-foot tall Tree of Life, complete with over 3,000 LED leaves, to set the stage for one of the most dramatic new productions at sea.

• This technology plays a starring role in several all-new production shows and programming exclusive to Celebrity Apex. Rockumentary will celebrate some of the greatest classic rock moments in history, and for the first time, guests get to vote for their favorite finale, via the Celebrity Cruises app. Tree of Life will take guests on a journey of relatable life moments, illuminated by the changing seasons of the tree, and set to pop rock music. Crystalize energizes the night with an inspiring and visually stunning performance featuring light, laser projections, custom video content, music, dance, and incredible aerial acrobatics, all tied together by the amazing talents of a world-class violinist.

• Widely regarded as the most unique space on any cruise ship, Eden indulges every sense with a variety of entirely new experiences that creatively transform the environment throughout the day from morning, noon to night. An eclectic afternoon tea party morphs into a wonder-filled journey in a "Night of Dreams," complete with live performances and audience interaction; a daytime guided meditation becomes the ultimate ultra-lounge in "Night of the Chill;" and interactive art experiences by day lead into "Night of the Arts," celebrating the arts through interactive experiences and performances. Each day presents new options to Chill @ Eden, Learn @ Eden, Play @ Eden and Create @ Eden, culminating at night in Evenings of Wonder at Eden, encouraging guests to return again and again.

• Evening entertainment can also be found at The Club, with the debut of Caravan, a more intimate and alluring evening cabaret-style production featuring new takes on classic circus acts with astonishing aerial acrobatics, acts of balance and precision, and more. Also fully programmed during the day, The Club will offer a variety of activities from video dance classes to archery to karaoke with a live band and full production support.

• In collaboration with Girls Who Code, founded by innovative CEO and Celebrity Apex Godmother Reshma Saujani, the ship's onboard Camp at Sea S.T.E.M. experiences will offer new educational coding programs.

Apex of Rest and Relaxation:

Celebrity Apex takes to the sea with a new spa management collaboration with OneSpaWorld and new wellness programming for the modern traveler throughout the entire onboard spa and sanctuary from acclaimed British interior designer Kelly Hoppen. Highlights include:

• A first-at-sea offering of F45 Training, one of the fastest-growing fitness networks in the world. These unique 45-minute, station-based, heartrate monitored functional team training workouts will be offered in a notably larger Fitness Center onboard Celebrity Apex.

• A new Destination Wellness program featuring locally inspired spa menus using authentic local ingredients inspired by the destinations that the ship explores.

• A new Women in Wellness wellbeing program centering on the emotional, physical and spiritual practices of some of the wellness industries' most highly respected influencers including Katie Brauer, Yoga Master and Founder and CEO of The Yoga Professional; Ruth Zukerman, co-founder of Soul Cycle and Flywheel Sports; and skincare icon and Elemis CEO Noella Gabriel.

• An array of new and first-at-sea spa offerings, including more than 120 soothing treatments and a new collection of state-of-the-art treatment tables, highlighted by the unique Iyashi Dôme, the original Japanese infrared sauna that deeply cleanses and detoxifies the body.

Celebrity Apex debuts this spring with a mini-season of five sailings to European destinations, including the Norwegian Fjords, the northern coasts of Spain and Portugal and a new 10-night Capital Cities Cruise with visits to iconic cities including Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo and Paris.

After Celebrity Apex's Northern Europe mini-season, the ship spends the rest of its inaugural summer sailing seven- to 12-night itineraries in the Mediterranean, with visits to bucket-list destinations such as Lisbon, Portugal; Istanbul; Monte Carlo; Cannes, France; and more, before repositioning to Fort Lauderdale in November for a winter season of week-long Caribbean sailings. Celebrity Edge will also sail the Mediterranean from April to October 2020; and the Caribbean from November 2020 to April 2021.

Greenland Added To Select Holland America Line 2021 Canada & New England Cruises
Holland America Line’s Canada & New England season will be even more scenic in 2021 with the addition of three cruises that explore the dramatic landscape of Greenland. From April through October, guests can select from more than 13 unique Canada, New England and Greenland itineraries ranging from seven to 17 days — including a new roundtrip cruise from Boston, Massachusetts, that features Greenland, Newfoundland and New England.

To celebrate the opening of the 2021 Canada, New England & Greenland bookings, Holland America Line is featuring an exclusive suite offer that includes free drinks, a free dining package and free gratuities when reserved by Feb. 28, 2020.

“With spectacular scenery in any season, close-to-home access for many of our guests and a thriving culinary and cultural scene, Canada and New England remains one of our most requested destinations,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Adding Greenland to those itineraries makes them even more desirable because it’s so rarely visited on a cruise, and the natural beauty is a perfect complement to Canada and New England.”

Kicking off the season in April, Amsterdam, Zaandam and Rotterdam sail a diverse collection of 50 cruises that call at 23 exceptional ports on itineraries departing from Boston; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Montréal, Québec. In addition to Greenland, the cruises call at some of the region’s most iconic destinations, including Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island, Maine’s spectacular Acadia National Park, Cape Breton’s incredible Bird Islands and Red Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador.

New and Notable in 2021:

• Three new 17-day Greenland, Newfoundland & New England Discovery cruises aboard Rotterdam in July and August sail roundtrip from Boston and explore remote destinations with breathtaking natural beauty. Ports include Paamiut, Qaqortoq and Nanortalik, Greenland; St. John’s, Red Bay, St. Anthony and Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador; Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; and Bar Harbor, Maine.

• Amsterdam and Zaandam will continue cruising between Montréal and Boston in both the summer and fall, which will add three additional Canada & New England Discovery cruises and one additional Atlantic Coast sailing.

• Rotterdam takes over the 10-day Newfoundland & New England Discovery itineraries that now sail all the way to Montréal and include a late-night departure or overnight at Québec City, Québec.

• All three ships will cruise the region in the fall so more guests can view the impressive display of jewel-toned foliage. Itineraries feature scenic cruising on the St. Lawrence River and Saguenay Fjord.

• Holland America Line’s perfectly sized ships enable cruising the scenic St. Lawrence River, with calls at Montre´al and Que´bec City on nearly every itinerary.

• Leisurely journeys along the Atlantic Coast to and from Fort Lauderdale feature port calls at Charleston, South Carolina, and New York City on select itineraries.

On board, Holland America Line’s multimedia EXC Talks bring Canada, New England and Greenland to life with captivating storytelling, expert commentary and stirring audio and video presentations.

Exclusive shore excursions in partnership with Food & Wine magazine showcase the tastes of the region. On Canada, New England and Greenland cruises, guests can indulge in authentic poutine and maple syrup-infused treats or farm-to-fork cuisine in Québec City; sail on a classic lobster boat and then dine at a Downeast Maine lobster bake in Bar Harbor; explore Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley and attend a tasting at the Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards; or take a walking tour of Portland, Maine, and quaff a small-batch beer at Shipyard Brewing Company.

Norwegian Cruise Line Encourages Americans To Travel With Intention
According to the U.S. Travel Association, more than 768 million vacation days went unused in 2019 and 55% of Americans didn't take all of their allotted time off.

"That is unfortunate! We can do better," says Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel.

The team at Norwegian Cruise Line believes that taking a vacation is essential to increased happiness, well-being and productivity, so the cruise line is encouraging travelers to be intentional with their vacation time by helping them plan for their ideal getaway on National Plan for Vacation Day, which takes place annually on the last Tuesday of January.

The company developed a fun and helpful quiz to inspire vacationers to commit to taking their well-deserved time away in 2020. The Travel with Intention survey was designed to match vacation goals such as relaxation, adventure and entertainment with incredible destinations around the world.

"Taking time off allows us to reconnect with the people and places that mean the most to us," said Sommer. "Travel encourages awareness and understanding, broadens our perspectives and promotes an overall sense of happiness. As we begin a brand-new year, we have a chance to intentionally plan those moments that ultimately mean the most to us."

To take the Travel with Intention quiz, visit www.ncl.com/travelwithintention.

Norwegian Cruise Line is recognized for providing guests with freedom and flexibility and a breadth of experiences across its 17-ship fleet. Guests can plan as little or as much as they want, and they have an opportunity to discover over 300 destinations around the world.

"Whether travelers are looking for a beach getaway, a historical immersion or an adventure in a far-off land, we hope they vacation with us," said Sommer. "There is an ease of travel with cruising that allows vacationers to relax, disconnect and experience a variety of destinations without the hassle of driving or flying from place-to-place or packing and unpacking."

CLIA Shares Findings of Recent Studies Confirming Limited Impact of Scrubber Technology on Marine Environments
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the leading voice for the global cruise industry, highlighted today the findings of three independent reports released in 2019 that show Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS), also known as scrubbers, when operated in open-loop mode, have minimal impact on water and sediment quality.

The most recent report, conducted by CE Delft and co-sponsored by CLIA, analyzed the long-term impact of washwater discharges from EGCS on port water and sediment. Using empirical data from almost 300 EGCS washwater samples—the most extensive dataset of this kind to date—it was found that such discharges have minimal environmental impact on water and sediment quality as compared to new European environmental quality standards entering into force in 2021.

The CE Delft report and its findings follow two additional studies released in 2019 which were conducted to further understand the impact of EGCS on marine environments. This includes a two-year study conducted by DNV GL, which found washwater samples from 53 cruise ships equipped with EGCS to be below the limits set by major international water quality standards. Another recent study, conducted by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, found the impact of scrubbers on water quality and marine life to be negligible.

"EGCS systems are designed to effectively remove 98% of sulfur and well over 50% of particulate matter," said Brian Salerno SVP of Maritime Policy, CLIA. "These studies are important validators for the industry that these systems, whether operated in open or closed-loop modes, are safe for the environment, in compliance with the new restrictions set forth in IMO 2020 and in keeping with the industry's commitment to responsible tourism practices."

Taken together, the studies further support the use of EGCS technology as a viable means for compliance with the IMO's 2020 sulfur requirements, which went into effect 1 January 2020 and mandate that emissions from maritime vessels not exceed 0.5% sulfur content, compared to 3.5% previously.

Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems process emissions from ships to almost completely remove sulfur content and significantly reduce particulate matter found in exhaust. Additional means of compliance with IMO's 2020 regulations include the use of LNG fuel, which has virtually zero sulfur emissions, and use of compliant fuel such as Marine Gas Oil. The CLIA ocean going cruise fleet includes two ships that are currently using LNG for primary propulsion, with another 25 under construction or on the order books.

Carnival New Vice President, Corporate Communications for Ethics and Compliance
Carnival Corporation today announced the appointment of Heidi M. Barker as vice president of corporate communications in the ethics and compliance department. Based at Carnival said that it 's headquarters in Miami, Barker will report to Carnival Corporation Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer Peter Anderson, starting in March.

Barker joins Carnival said that it wide ethics and compliance team led by Anderson, which was formed last year to help ensure a culture of compliance, learning and integrity inside Carnival Corporation and across its nine global cruise line brands. The program's goals are to meet or exceed all legal and statutory requirements, as well as to promote the highest ethical principles.

In this newly created position, Barker will lead all ethics and compliance communications for Carnival Corporation, including the key focus areas of health, environment, safety, security, culture and training, among others. As part of this role, she will coordinate compliance-related communications across the organization, working closely with Roger Frizzell, the corporation's chief communications officer, and the compliance and communications teams within Carnival said that it 's nine cruise brands.

Additionally, Barker will oversee communications for Operation Oceans Alive, Carnival Corporation's environmental commitment and stewardship program, officially launched in 2018. Designed to promote a culture of transparency, learning and commitment within the corporation, Operation Oceans Alive ensures that all employees receive environmental education, training and oversight, while continuing Carnival said that it 's commitment to protecting the oceans, seas and destinations in which it operates.

"With over 150,000 dedicated employees representing nearly 150 countries, it is imperative that we effectively communicate and work together to execute our commitment to safety, environmental protection and overall compliance across our nine global cruise line brands," said Anderson. "We need to reach the hearts and minds of all stakeholders, and Heidi brings valuable experience and insights to Carnival Corporation from decades of communications and journalism work that will support our effort to build a world-class, enduring culture of compliance."

Added Anderson: "We look forward to her playing a critical role in our mission to do the right things, in the right ways and for the right reasons."

Barker brings over 25 years of experience and senior leadership in corporate communications and broadcast journalism to Carnival Corporation. Most recently, Barker served as chief communications officer at Cleveland Avenue LLC, a food and beverage venture capital and consulting firm in Chicago, where she built the startup's communication function from inception, designing it to include corporate narrative and messaging platforms, internal and external communications, and an integrated social media presence.

Prior to her role at Cleveland Avenue, Barker was vice president of global media relations and issues management for McDonald's Corporation, advising C-suite executives on brand-impacting issues, and leading a team responsible for boosting and protecting Carnival said that it 's corporate reputation with influential journalists and stakeholders across a broad spectrum of media and social channels. Previously, Barker served as senior director, global external communications for McDonald's, managing global media and aligning strategic messaging throughout Carnival said that it .

Before joining McDonald's, Barker spent 10 years as a producer for NBC News, including two years as a rotational senior producer for "NBC Nightly News." Barker began her career in broadcast journalism working as an anchor/reporter/producer for ABC, NBC and FOX affiliates, where she honed her media skills and gained valuable experience in crisis and issues management.

A graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, Barker has earned two Emmy nominations and several Edward R. Murrow Awards, among other journalism awards. She currently serves as an emeritus member on the Board of Directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Chicago, and is a former advisor to ColorComm Network, the only professional organization focused on advancing the visibility of women of color in communications.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 45.27 - 8.2+%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 116.91 - 12.17%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.70 - 4.11%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 54.16 - 6.36%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the last pair of ocean liners to be built with an overhanging, counter stern (...such as on the Titanic and many other early twentieth century ocean liners).

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Name the last pair of ocean liners to be built with an overhanging, counter stern (...such as on the Titanic and many other early twentieth century ocean liners).

Answer - The SS Constitution and The SS Independence were last pair of liners to be built with a counter stern. They were built at Quincy, Mass in 1952. They were owned and operated by American Export Lines and sailed mostly the southern route from New York to Gibralter, Naples and Genoa with calls at other Meditteranean ports.
courtesy of Larry P. McDonald


Cruise News - January 20, 2020

Uniworld Seeks Damages From MSC
The river cruise company Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection brought suit against MSC Cruise Management (UK) Limited yesterday. Uniworld is seeking reimbursement for damages incurred following a June 2, 2019 incident in which a Uniworld ship, River Countess was hit by MSC Opera, a large ocean ship while docked at the San Basilio Cruise Terminal in Venice, Italy.

According to Uniworld CEO and President Ellen Bettridge, extensive conversations with MSC to compensate Uniworld for its losses have been unproductive. "We are extremely disappointed with the unprofessional manner in which MSC has decided to ignore the gravity of the situation, which has disrupted our guests, our partners and our team," said Bettridge. "Aside from the severe damage to our ship [River Countess], we were forced to cancel 14 voyages, frustrating our guests and travel partners during the peak summer season."

To date, Uniworld estimates its losses that include passenger reimbursement, ship damage, lost revenue and the protection of travel agent commissions to be in excess of 11.5 million Euros. This estimate excludes additional potential claims from customers and related damages. "We do not like to litigate but have been compelled to do so based on the stonewalling and delays by MSC and its representatives – even after receiving a letter of guarantee by their own insurance agency, West of England. We expect more and better from a fellow member of the cruise industry and regret having to go to court to seek fitting remedy," said Bettridge.

The incident, which remains under investigation by Italian authorities, impacted nearly 1600 guests over the course of several months. "Uniworld is part of The Travel Corporation which celebrates a century of travel excellence this year. The company prides itself on delivering service which exceeds our customers' expectations and that is put to the test most not when things go right, but when things go wrong. We are holding MSC to that standard. This situation has been incredibly distressing, particularly for those guests and crew who experienced the traumatic moment onboard first-hand and those who watched the terrifying videos in the days to follow; we wish for nothing more than to put this behind us. It's time for them to come to the table and make us whole," says Bettridge.

Seabourn's New Constellation Lounge To Feature Stunning 270-Degree Views
Seabourn will soon be offering guests a breathtaking perspective on the sights in the most coveted and remote destinations in the world. Introducing the Constellation Lounge, a viewing lounge located up high and forward to be featured on each of the line's two new purpose-built expedition vessels that are scheduled to launch in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

Designed along the lines of the Observation Bar, among the most popular venues on every ship in the current Seabourn fleet, the Constellation Lounge will debut with the launch of Seabourn Venture in June 2021, and follow on the yet to be named sister expedition ship in May 2022. The name of the new lounge reflects the heavenly direction of the space, which is dressed up in constellation-inspired interiors, fashioned by hospitality design icon Adam D. Tihany, including dark carpeting laid out with bright constellation patterns. In addition, the furniture is being created and designed by Tihany Product Design. The name – Constellation Lounge - was last used on Seabourn Pride and is a nod to the heritage of luxury hospitality built over more than 30 years of operation.

Located on Deck 9 forward, the Constellation Lounge will be the highest indoor viewing point on each ship. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls will wrap around the space, offering guests stunning 270-degree, outward-facing views as far as their eyes can see, heightening their expeditionary spirit while bringing them closer to wildlife and wonders at sea and in port. In addition, the expedition team will be in the lounge regularly to help identify points of interest, wildlife and geological wonders. Imagine glimpsing killer whales, waddling penguins, and sea lions in Antarctica; sleepy-eyed sloths, sprightly monkeys, and colorful parrots in the rainforests of South and Central America; and icebergs bobbing in the seas and waterfalls rushing over cliffs in the far reaches of the Arctic and Northern Europe – all from the comfort of the Constellation Lounge.

"The Constellation Lounge creates a scene all its own on our new expedition vessels, inviting guests into a stunning space with myriad delights to enjoy from morning into the night," said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. "The design of the space inspires, just like the sky above. It will play out as an ideal setting to relax, unwind, and review the day while soaking up amazing views."

The rich red and blue palette of the Constellation Lounge will be accented by silver and bronze details from throw pillows to bar stool stands, while velvety banquettes and comfortable, sleek, sling-back lounge chairs will contribute to a seductive and relaxed environment that encourages guests to kick back, converse, and enjoy.

The captivating central bar of the Constellation Lounge will be a destination on its own, with striking textured marble and a unique geometrical faceted metal bar front. Taking inspiration from the skies above, lighting elements will create star-like lighting patterns across the ceiling. The featured art of the Constellation Lounge echoes the geometrical elements of the space with an ode to historical maps of the night sky.

The Constellation Lounge will offer Seabourn's popular Early Morning Riser continental breakfast, while afternoons will feature the line's popular and recently enhanced Afternoon Tea service. Steeped in the tradition of proper English tea service, yet as fresh and memorable as a newly brewed pot, the elegant daily tea service incorporates the finest luxury tea brand TWG Tea. As the sun dips and the night sky lights up, live piano entertainment will delight guests as cocktails and tapas are served both before and after dinner.

Seabourn Venture and its sister expedition ship will feature 132 luxurious oceanfront veranda suites.

Carnival Corporation Joins Ocean Plastics Leadership Network as Charter Member
Carnival Corporation today announced it is a charter member of the Ocean Plastics Leadership Network (OPLN), a new global community of retailers, brands, non-governmental organizations and alliances committed to sharing best practices, developing scientific breakthroughs and new business models, and working to develop new approaches, innovations and solutions-based projects to address the impacts of plastic waste.

As part of Carnival said that it 's implementation of broader environmental initiatives, Carnival Corporation recently announced a series of actions being undertaken by each of its nine cruise line brands, including significantly reducing its purchase and consumption of non-essential single-use plastics by the end of 2021. The effort to dramatically reduce single-use plastics across its brands is part of an expansion of Operation Oceans Alive, the corporation's program to further its ongoing commitment to achieve and sustain environmental compliance and excellence. Carnival Corporation and its brands already have plans under way, including initiatives to reduce or eliminate plastic straws, cups, lids and bags, among other single-use items. The brands are also working to potentially eliminate individual servings of select packaged food items and other single-use plastics or decorative items used in food and beverage service as well as in staterooms. Through the ongoing efforts, Carnival said that it 's brands reduced the procurement of single-use plastics by 80 million items in 2019 while also reducing 95 million other single-use items, as compared to 2018.

OPLN officially launched last week with the introduction of its online community and leadership network available at OceanPlasticsLeadershipNetwork.com, an online repository of industry news, tools and research to promote and advance innovative solutions, projects and ideas from experts and advocates that will lead to collectively working to reduce plastic waste. The online network currently includes 50 members committed to collaborative solutions for plastic waste, including organizations representing elements of the development, distribution, purchase and retail use of plastic products.

"Our most important priorities are to operate safely, protect the environment and to be compliant everywhere we operate in the world," said Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival Corporation. "Becoming a charter member of the Ocean Plastics Leadership Network is another important step in the many environmental compliance efforts that are under way across Carnival said that it ."

Organized by SoulBuffalo, which curates and produces summits and expeditions for corporate leaders, NGOs and innovators to develop solutions for environmental challenges, OPLN builds upon Carnival said that it 's first-annual Ocean Plastics Leadership Summit held in May 2019, which convened leading organizations in the plastics supply chain in one of the five oceanic gyres – which are large systems of rotating ocean currents – to experience plastic waste firsthand and to develop ideas and collaborations to accelerate solutions.

"The Ocean Plastics Leadership Network will provide an amazing platform for knowledge-sharing, creating amazing firsthand experiences and working together to achieve real change," said Dave Ford, CEO of SoulBuffalo and founder of OPLN. "Companies like Carnival Corporation coming onboard will be such an integral step to having this organization be relevant and effective."

In addition to being a charter member of OPLN, Carnival Corporation recently joined the Getting to Zero Coalition, an alliance of organizations across the maritime, energy, infrastructure and finance sectors committed to accelerating the decarbonization of the international shipping industry. The global coalition will work toward the maritime industry's goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from shipping through innovation and advancement, aspiring to having commercially viable zero emission deep sea vessels (ZEVs) entering the global shipping fleet as early as 2030. The alliance's ambition also includes scalable infrastructure for zero-carbon energy sources, including production, distribution, storage and bunkering.

Carnival Corporation and its cruise line brands are committed to developing solutions that support sustainability and environmentally friendly operations, as part of a broader corporate strategy that includes its commitment to further improve environmental compliance and performance. To date, Carnival said that it achieved its 25% carbon rate reduction goal and is planning to reduce its carbon intensity by 40% by 2030.

Seabourn Announces Line-Up Of Speakers For 2020 Seabourn Conversations Program
Seabourn is featuring its latest line-up of distinguished speakers in 2020 as part of its popular Seabourn Conversations program. Designed to enlighten, inform and entertain guests, the complementary onboard enrichment program hosts guest speakers and personalities from a variety of fields including entertainment, adventure, government, journalism, and the arts.

The Seabourn Conversations schedule is populated with both first-time and notable returning speakers, and is featured on Seabourn's fleet of award-winning, intimate ships. In addition to sharing their expertise with guests, the speakers will also participate in the daily social scene, sharing meals, adventures ashore and casual conversations throughout the voyage.

"We are always thrilled to bring such accomplished experts and engaging personalities to enlighten our guests through Seabourn Conversations," said Chris Austin, Seabourn's senior vice president of Global Marketing & Sales. "Our guests have interesting backgrounds themselves and they truly enjoy hearing about and learning diverse insights, stories and perspectives on a variety of global topics from speakers all over the world."

Select speakers of the 2020 Seabourn Conversations program include:

• Bryan Fogel (Seabourn Sojourn, March 12-22, 2020) – An Academy-Award winning American film director, producer, author and playwright, Fogel is best known for his 2017 documentary Icarus, which took home the 2018 Oscar for "Best Documentary Feature".

• Sarri Tapales (Seabourn Sojourn, March 30 – April 6, 2020) – The creative producer and director of ARTKITEKTURA, a Festival of Architecture and the Arts in the Philippines, Tapales produces programs on architecture, ecology, culture and spirituality to promote ecological design thinking and invite a lively exchange of ideas across sectors.

• Sir Tim Rice (Seabourn Odyssey, April 8, 2020 voyage) – English author and lyricist Rice's talent has earned him awards at the Oscars, Golden Globes, Tonys and Grammys. Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1994, he is perhaps most renowned for his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber on Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita and more. His production show, An Evening With Tim Rice, is currently playing fleetwide on all Seabourn ships.

• Sir Alan Collins (Seabourn Encore, May 5, 2020 voyage) – A veteran of high-ranking posts in the British Diplomatic Service, Collins has represented Britain all over the world in various capacities, including as Director-General, Trade & Investment USA; Ambassador to the Philippines; Deputy Ambassador to Ethiopia; and High Commissioner to Singapore, where he organized the 2006 State Visit by Her Majesty the Queen.

• Alison Wright (Seabourn Sojourn, May 7-20, 2020, Suva to Honolulu) – Award-winning documentary photographer Wright has traveled far and wide photographing endangered cultures and people while covering issues concerning the human condition. A contributor to National Geographic, she has published 10 books including her best-selling memoir, Learning to Breathe: One Woman's Journey of Spirit and Survival.

• Ted Libbey (Seabourn Sojourn, May 20-28, 2020, Honolulu to San Francisco) – One of America's most highly regarded music critics, Libbey spent 15 years as a commentator on NPR's "Performance Today". He has been Director of Media Arts at the National Endowment for the Arts; a music critic for The New York Times; as well as a regular pre-concert speaker at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

Atlas Ocean Voyages Acquires Four Additional Ships To Join World Navigator
Atlas Ocean Voyages announced today that it is adding four more ships to its fleet. The Luxe-Adventure cruise brand's fleet will total five ships by the end of 2023, with the first ship, World Navigator, launching in mid-2021. World Navigator's inaugural season is already open for reservations. Adventurers can choose among 10 exciting itineraries, ranging from seven to 15 nights throughout the Holy Land and Eastern Mediterranean, Western Mediterranean, and the Black Sea. The fleet expansion will allow Atlas Ocean Voyages to offer more itineraries in more global regions to accommodate the growing demand for the brand's distinctive, Luxe-Adventure journeys.

"We're happy to expand our fleet to five Luxe-Adventure cruise ships to sail under the Atlas Ocean Voyages brand," said Alberto Aliberti, President of Atlas Ocean Voyages. "Luxe-Adventure is all-inclusive, small-ship journeys with luxurious amenities, delivering limitless adventures, and we look forward to welcoming guests aboard our ships for unexpected discoveries, foodie immersion, and unique, adrenaline rushes. The immediate and positive response from the travel advisor community and early sales of World Navigator's inaugural 2021 season has played an important part in our decision to increase our capacity."

World Navigator is currently under construction. World Traveller and World Seeker are scheduled to launch in 2022 and World Adventurer and World Discoverer will launch in 2023.

"The four additions to our Luxe-Adventure fleet will allow us to significantly expand our collection of global adventures and offer more group and charter opportunities to meet growing demand," said Brandon Townsley, Vice President of Sales and Trade Partnerships. "We're combining smooth sailings in simple elegance to both remote and popular destinations with off-the-chart, bucket list-worthy shoreside and overland experiences that will be the most incredible journeys ever. We welcome all travel advisors to join the Luxe-Adventure movement and register as an Atlas Advisor at AtlasOceanVoyages.com."

Star Wars Day at Sea Returns in 2021
Out-of-this-world adventures return to Disney Cruise Line in 2021 with Star Wars Day at Sea. This special day-long celebration is filled with unique character encounters, unforgettable live shows and Star Wars-themed activities for the entire family. Star Wars Day at Sea takes place on seven-night Disney Fantasy cruises to the Caribbean from January through March.

With more than a dozen of the galaxy's most formidable and heroic characters onboard, guests can meet with the best of the Resistance including Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2; come face-to-face with Darth Vader; and be on watch as Stormtroopers, Bounty Hunters and Jawas roam the ship.

Force-sensitive children learn the ways of the Jedi and use their new-found skills in a face-off against Darth Vader and Kylo Ren in Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. The whole family can celebrate the greatest moments from the Star Wars galaxy with the "Summon the Force" deck party, complete with a fireworks show of galactic proportions.

Costume celebrations, movie screenings, trivia sessions, the Star Wars Drawing Academy and a ship-wide Porg-themed adventure are more of the ways families can feel the Force on Star Wars Day at Sea. Unique food and beverage and special merchandise are also available on these sailings in early 2021.

Star Wars Day at Sea Itineraries

With cruises to the Eastern and Western Caribbean, guests can celebrate their love of the Star Wars saga and enjoy tropical destinations, coupled with classic Disney magic and entertainment all week long onboard the Disney Fantasy. All Star Wars Day at Sea sailings make a stop in Castaway Cay, Disney's private island in the Bahamas reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests, home to pristine beaches, crystal blue waters and fun-filled leisure and recreational activities for all ages.

Star Wars Day at Sea will be offered on nine Disney Fantasy seven-night Caribbean cruises sailing from Port Canaveral, Florida.

• Departing Jan. 2, Jan. 16, Jan. 30, Feb. 13 and Feb. 27, the Western Caribbean itinerary includes Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Falmouth, Jamaica; and Disney's private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay.

• Departing Jan. 9, Jan. 23 and Feb. 20, the Eastern Caribbean itinerary includes Tortola, St. Thomas and Castaway Cay.

• Departing Feb. 6, the Eastern Caribbean itinerary includes St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Castaway Cay.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 51.90 + 5.15%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 135.05 + 1.46%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.75 + 2.74%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 59.65 + 3.13%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which cruise ship was intended to be named "Future Seas" before being transferred to another cruise line and entering service under a different name.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Name the last pair of ocean liners to be built with an overhanging, counter stern (...such as on the Titanic and many other early twentieth century ocean liners).

Answer - The SS Constitution and The SS Independence were last pair of liners to be built with a counter stern. They were built at Quincy, Mass in 1952. They were owned and operated by American Export Lines and sailed mostly the southern route from New York to Gibralter, Naples and Genoa with calls at other Meditteranean ports.
courtesy of Larry P. McDonald


Cruise News - January 13, 2020

Carnival Valor to Offer Two Trans-Atlantic Crossings in 2021
Carnival Valor will operate a pair of 15-day trans-Atlantic crossings next year – one departing Jan. 25, 2021, from New Orleans to Barcelona and another departing Feb. 26, 2021 from Barcelona to New Orleans.

The Jan. 25 departure includes day-long stops at Bermuda, Funchal (Madeira) Portugal, and Malaga and Valencia, Spain before arriving in Barcelona on Feb. 9, 2021.

Following its arrival in Barcelona, Carnival Valor will undergo a 17-day dry dock details of which will be announced in the coming months.

The ship will then embark on another trans-Atlantic voyage departing Barcelona Feb. 26 and arriving in New Orleans on March 13, 2021. Featured ports include Cartagena (Murcia) and Malaga, Spain; Funchal (Madeira); St. Maarten and San Juan.

Carnival Valor will resume its year-round four- and five-day schedule from New Orleans March 13, 2021.

Costa Atlantica Transferred to China State Shipbuilding Corporation
CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping, a joint venture between China's largest shipbuilding company China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) and the U.S.-based Carnival Corporation, on Monday welcomed its newest fleet member.

The 85,861-tonnage and 2,210-passenger vessel, Costa Atlantica, was inked to be transferred from Carnival Corporation's Costa Cruises to CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping as a result of the strategic partnership between CSSC and Carnival established during the first China International Import Expo held in Shanghai in 2018.

According to the plan, the 2,114-passenger Costa Mediterranea will also join the fleet by the end of this year, followed by six Vista vessels that will enter service starting from 2023.

"The efforts are further testament to the confidence bolstered by Carnival and CSSC, and their shared vision and commitment to growing together with the domestic cruise market," said CSSC-Carnival in a press release.

The global cruise industry is estimated to have seen the operation of 433 vessels carrying 28.5 million passengers in 2018. As the world's second-largest cruise market by passenger volume, Chinese travelers took 2.4 million cruise trips that same year.

"We will leverage the strong capabilities and rich resources of our parent companies to build a full-fledged flagship cruise company," said Roger Chen, managing director of CSSC-Carnival.

"The venture should help drive the sustained development of China's cruise industry and become a leading China-funded cruise company by optimizing its product offerings, improving its distribution systems and setting up an all-inclusive ecosystem," said Yang Guobing, chairman of CSSC-Carnival.

Port of Miami Smashes Passenger Record
PortMiami smashed its own world record in 2019, reporting a 22 percent increase in cruise passenger totals.

The Cruise Capital of the World hosted an all-time high 6,824,000 passengers for the 12-month period ending September 30, 2019, PortMiami confirmed on Tuesday.

"The strong performance at PortMiami, one of Miami-Dade County’s main economic engines, is great news for our community," said Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, in a statement. "The growth figures confirm our role as a leading global gateway and demonstrate the continuing draw of the Port. I am proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish. I want to thank our cruise and cargo partners for working with PortMiami’s Director and CEO Juan M. Kuryla and his team on extending their business relationships. I will continue to work with the Port and its partners on additional opportunities. Everybody stands to gain from sustainable growth at our seaport."

Looking ahead, PortMiami announced that it has secured a series of long-term deals and new terminal developments with a handful of key partners, including Carnival Corporation, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line Bahamas, Terminal Link Miami, and Virgin Voyages.

The partnerships are expected to generate about $7.8 billion in economic impact to South Florida and support as many as 27,500 new direct, induced and indirect jobs annually.

"New facilities, including cruise terminals and berths, are in the works to accommodate the industry’s new generation of vessels," said the Chairwoman of the Tourism and the Ports Committee Rebeca Sosa in a statement. "I am so proud of PortMiami, what it has accomplished, and where it’s heading."

Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Cancelled Due To Pod Problems
Holland America Line had to cancel the December 14, 2019 voyage aboard the Nieuw Amsterdam due to unexpected technical issue. The ship experienced problems with the Azipod propulsion which slowed the speed over the last night of the previous cruise resulting in late arrival at the homeport Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Nieuw Amsterdam was scheduled to sail on a 7 night Eastern Caribbean voyage, but the cruise ship did not leave the dock at Fort Lauderdale on Saturday. The cruise line notified all guests who have booked this cruise that it was canceled due to issue’s with one of the ship’s Azipod propellers and the ship will go to dry dock for repairs.

Holland America Line released the following announcement:

“Due to an unexpected technical issue with one of two Azipod propulsion systems on Nieuw Amsterdam the roundtrip Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Dec. 14 Caribbean cruise has been canceled. While the ship can safely sail with one Azipod, to do so requires approval from several regulatory authorities which is still in progress. Given the impact of the delay on delivering a satisfactory itinerary for guests, a decision was made to cancel the cruise at 2 p.m. EDT today.

All guests have been notified of the cancellation and had the choice of remaining on board overnight alongside in Port Everglades or disembarking the ship. Holland America Line worked with guests to assist with travel arrangements and provide support. Several guests were re-booked on other Holland America Line cruises departing Fort. Lauderdale the same day.

Guests will receive a full refund of cruise fare and taxes paid, hotel package costs, prepaid shore excursions and amenities, and any additional travel fees resulting from rebooking air tickets. They will also receive a 100% Future Cruise Credit equal to the amount of the cruise fare paid.

It is not known at this time what impact there may be on upcoming Nieuw Amsterdam sailings.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 49.36 + 2.03%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 133.11 + 1.12%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.73 - 3.95%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 57.84 + 1.83%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the last pair of ocean liners to be built with an overhanging, counter stern (...such as on the Titanic and many other early twentieth century ocean liners).

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Name the former Holland America liner that along with QE2 ended up being one of last two passenger ships to cross the Atlantic on a regular basis.

Answer - The former Atlantic liner that sailed with QE2 was the Stefan Batory of Polish Ocean Lines. She was formerly Holland America's Maasdam.
courtesy of Michael Ohalloran


Cruise News - January 6, 2020

Four Carnival Corporation Brands Will Launch New Cruise Ships in 2020
Carnival Corporation today announced it will launch four new cruise ships in 2020 across four of its global cruise line brands – Iona for P&O Cruises UK, Britain's favorite cruise line; Enchanted Princess for Princess Cruises, the fastest growing international premium cruise line; Mardi Gras for Carnival Cruise Line, America's cruise line; and Costa Firenze for Italian brand Costa Cruises.

Iona marks the first new ship for P&O Cruises since the introduction of Britannia in 2015. Enchanted Princess is designed from the ground up as a Princess MedallionClass ship. Costa Firenze is Costa Cruises' second ship designed and built specifically for the China market. Mardi Gras is named as a tribute to TSS Mardi Gras, Carnival Cruise Line's first-ever ship, which marked a historic turning point in accelerating growth in the popularity of modern-day cruising.

P&O Cruises' Iona and Carnival Cruise Line's Mardi Gras will be the third and fourth (respectively) of Carnival Corporation's 11 total next-generation cruise ships joining the fleet through 2025 that can be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the industry's most advanced fuel technology, eliminating sulfur and significantly improving overall air emissions.

Part of Carnival Corporation's strategy of measured capacity growth, each new ship provides an opportunity to introduce new guest innovations, energy efficiencies and sustainability approaches to cruising, while creating excitement, meeting growing demand and generating consideration of cruising as an extraordinary vacation at an exceptional value. The introduction of the four new ships in 2020 is part of Carnival Corporation's ongoing fleet enhancement strategy, with 16 new ships scheduled to be delivered through 2025, designed to continue improving the overall guest experience while accelerating demand for cruising, the fastest growing segment in the vacation industry.

These new ships build on the momentum of Carnival Corporation's four new vessels launched with rave reviews in 2019 – Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Panorama, Costa Cruises' Costa Smeralda and Costa Venezia, and Sky Princess from Princess Cruises.

"Each new ship is an opportunity to generate excitement and buzz among consumers around the world, whether loyal guests or new to cruising, that will continue to inspire more travelers to consider cruising as a vacation option," said Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival Corporation. "We look forward to the delivery of four more spectacular ships, which will offer our guests the latest in onboard features and amenities – and help us continue our reputation for providing great cruise vacations that are significantly less than comparable land-based vacations."

Below is a brief look at Carnival Corporation's four new ships for 2020:

Iona from P&O Cruises (UK) – May 2020
When Iona joins the P&O Cruises (UK) fleet in May, it will launch as the popular British line's first LNG-powered ship. Among the distinguishing characteristics of Iona will be the Grand Atrium, a new development for the cruise line with uninterrupted panoramic views of the sea, framed by glazed walls stretching three decks high. Located at the heart of Iona, the glazed Grand Atrium is a lively focal point that encapsulates the spirit of the ship, with each level offering natural light and breath-taking views.

Iona's distinct "crown" will be the SkyDome, a new entertainment venue on the top two levels of the ship and capped by a glass-domed roof designed by award-winning British engineers Eckersley O'Callaghan, the team behind glass masterpieces such as London's Embassy Gardens Sky Pool and Bulgari's flagship New York boutique. SkyDome's unique event space offers an ideal place for relaxation and informal dining during the day, transitioning into vibrant evening activities, including spectacular aerial performances, immersive shows and deck parties.

With a choice of 30 different bar and restaurant venues, Iona's guests will enjoy the widest ever selection of places to eat and drink on a ship built exclusively for the British cruise holiday market. Innovative and flexible dining options include a "foodie" market offering cuisine from around the world, a new gastropub concept and a laid-back cocktail lounge.

As part of the new approach to dining, Iona will for the first time offer Freedom Dining in all of its main restaurants, giving guests more flexibility for dining. As with other ships in the P&O Cruises fleet, Iona will have The Retreat, a private, open-air deck area where cold flannels, chilled drinks, snacks and al fresco spa treatments are offered in the privacy of shaded cabanas. Iona's Retreat will also have two infinity whirlpools.

Another new offering is the spa's variety of destination-themed treatments with locally inspired therapies incorporated into the experience. Cruise guests might choose from rejuvenating options such as the Nordic Cleanse or the Baltic & Ice Massage, inspired by the Nordic heritage of hot and cold therapies.

Upon launch in May 2020, Iona will sail from Southampton, United Kingdom, exclusively to the Norwegian Fjords during the inaugural season with departures throughout spring and summer 2020, followed by winter sun holidays to the Canaries, Spain and Portugal.

Enchanted Princess from Princess Cruises – June 2020
Debuting in Rome (Civitavecchia) in June 2020, the 3,660-guest Enchanted Princess shares all of the spectacular style and luxury of its sister ships – Regal Princess, Royal Princess, Majestic Princess and the recently launched Sky Princess. Guests will discover exquisite, one-of-a-kind dining experiences, more pools and whirlpool hot tubs and world-class entertainment venues hosting dazzling performances. The ship also will feature breathtaking Sky Suites, with expansive views from the largest balconies at sea, which originally debuted on Sky Princess in October 2019.

Measuring 1,012 square feet (starboard side Sky Suite) and 947 square feet (port side Sky Suite), the furnished balconies will provide a private vantage of the ship's Movie Under the Stars screen and create the ultimate space for entertaining. The two suites will also offer 270-degree panorama views and have sleeping capacity for five guests, and more room for gathering – making them ideal for families. Before Sky Suite guests board their cruise ship, they can take advantage of a pre-cruise, shoreside concierge. Once onboard, guests will also enjoy Sanctuary services on their balcony, a private suite experience manager, complimentary access to the Lotus Spa's Enclave, enhanced ultimate balcony dining and even a deluxe telescope for Discovery Stargazing at Sea.

Enchanted Princess will offer new entertainment experiences recently introduced on Sky Princess, including Phantom Bridge, a world's first game combining digital and physical elements for the ultimate immersive escape room; Take Five, the only jazz theater at sea, celebrating the iconic sounds, culture and history of jazz; and new one-of-a-kind production shows like Rock Opera created exclusively for Princess Cruises.

In addition, Enchanted Princess marks the second ship purpose-built MedallionClass newbuild. Featuring the complimentary OceanMedallion™ wearable device, MedallionClass vacations deliver an entirely new level of service and create a vacation that is more seamless, effortless and personalized. Considered a breakthrough in the vacation industry and a CES 2019 Innovation Award Honoree, the complimentary OceanMedallion features leading-edge technology that delivers personalized service through enhanced guest-crew interactions, while eliminating friction points and enabling interactive entertainment.

Debuting in the Mediterranean in June 2020, Enchanted Princess will be named in Southampton, United Kingdom, and depart on its 10-day maiden voyage July 1 to Rome, where it will begin a series of Mediterranean cruises for the summer and fall before repositioning to Fort Lauderdale in November 2020 for sailings to the Caribbean for the winter season.

Mardi Gras from Carnival Cruise Line – November 2020
In a nod to Carnival Cruise Line's rich history as America's Cruise Line, the brand's newest ship Mardi Gras was named in honor of the first Carnival Cruise Line ship that entered service in 1972 and played a leading role in generating widespread popularity for cruise vacations in the U.S. Mardi Gras will be the first cruise ship in North America to be powered by LNG, the marine industry's most advanced fuel technology.

Carnival Cruise Line's most innovative ship, Mardi Gras will feature groundbreaking experiences like the first roller coaster at sea, BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster. The thrill ride offers 360-degree views while guests race 187 feet above the sea with drops, dips and hairpin turns reaching speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. Guests can choose their own speed on the all-electric roller coaster so no two rides will ever be the same.

BOLT will take center stage in the Ultimate Playground, spanning Decks 18-20 and home to the largest WaterWorks aqua park in the Carnival Cruise Line fleet, featuring three unique heart-racing slides designed for all-ages, an exciting zone designed specifically for kids with a 150-gallon PowerDrencher tipping bucket and numerous water toys. Mardi Gras will introduce Emeril's Bistro 1396, the first seagoing restaurant by famed New Orleans chef Emeril Lagasse that will be housed in the ship's French Quarter, one of six themed zones on board offering a variety of food, beverage and entertainment choices.

Entertainment will be at the heart of Mardi Gras' onboard experience with never-before-seen offerings including a first-in-fleet partnership with Family Feud, new high-tech Playlist Productions shows, a dedicated Punchliner Comedy Club, and new live music and entertainment options.

Mardi Gras is set to debut in November 2020, operating year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral.

Costa Firenze from Costa Cruises – October 2020
Costa Firenze is the second ship for Costa Cruises built specifically for the China market, where the Italian company was the first international cruise line to start operating in 2006.

Inspired by the city of Florence and representing centuries of Italian culture and history, Costa Firenze will offer guests the chance to fully immerse themselves in Italian beauty and aesthetics, which will take shape in various aspects of life on board from interior design to dining and entertainment to hospitality.

Like its sister ship Costa Venezia, Costa Firenze will offer a series of innovations designed specifically for the Chinese market, including a wide choice of Chinese food, Chinese-style karaoke and parties such as the "Golden Party" with surprises and gifts awarded every 10 minutes.

Following its delivery scheduled for September 30, Costa Firenze will head to China, offering cruising for Chinese customers beginning October 20, 2020.

Seabourn Elevates Tea Time With An Enhanced Daily Afternoon Tea Service
Seabourn is inviting guests to sip tea at sea with an enhancement on the cruise line's beloved Afternoon Tea Service across the entire fleet. Steeped in the tradition of proper English tea service, yet as fresh and memorable as a newly brewed pot, the cruise line's new daily tea service is the latest innovation designed to ensure that every detail of the Seabourn experience is constantly evolving and delighting guests near and far.

The key element of Seabourn's new Afternoon Tea Service is the line's addition of the finest luxury tea brand TWG Tea. Established in Singapore in 2008, TWG Tea (which stands for The Wellbeing Group) offers the largest collection of over 800 different single-estate, fine harvests, and exclusive tea blends from renowned tea estates in every tea-producing region around the globe.

"We are always looking at ways to take the amenities and services at the heart of the Seabourn cruise experience to the next level, and our new Afternoon Tea Service does just that," said Gerald Mosslinger, Seabourn's senior vice president of Hotel Operations and Onboard Revenue. "New guests will be delightfully surprised, while returning guests already familiar with our tea traditions will be impressed with the upgrades we've made to brighten their afternoons."

In keeping with English tradition, Seabourn's new Afternoon Tea Service is nestled conveniently between lunch and dinner, available from 4 – 5 p.m. daily in the Observation Bar. Loose-leaf tea selections from TWG Tea, the finest luxury tea brand whose collection is the largest in the world, include choices such as English Earl Grey, Imperial Lapsang Souchong, and Highlands BOP Ceylon. They are delivered to the table by the highly trained staff and properly served on handcrafted china from Bernardaud, the family-owned French porcelain company originally established in Limoges, France in 1863. Bernardaud remains in the elite of design and innovation and each piece that bears Carnival said that it 's signature brings the grace of simple luxury to everyday life and demonstrates that, after two thousand years, porcelain continues to prove its worth as an exceptional material.

Afternoon Tea will also be accompanied by a set selection of sweet desserts and savory snacks that will change daily on a rotating cycle, including gluten-free and vegetarian options, presented upon a stylish three-tiered display tray at the guest's table in the Observation Bar. A sand clock, started as soon as the tea hits the water, is left at the table to ensure that guests can steep their tea precisely the way they like it while the service staff explains the tea's origins and how different steeping times can enhance the flavor.

Afternoon Tea is a traditional British tea service served at 4 p.m. between lunch and dinner, focused on serving light fare that includes scones, finger sandwiches, jam and marmalade. With roots going back for generations, history says that Afternoon Tea dates back to the mid-1800s and the Duchess of Bedford. At the time, kerosene lamps in wealthier homes helped usher in a late dinner, often served around 8 or 9 p.m., leaving people of the era, including the Duchess, feeling a bit hungry between meals. She decided to regularly invite friends over for tea and a selection of snacks during the late afternoon.

The idea of Afternoon Tea eventually spread across society, growing into a social occasion that continues to draw people together for interesting conversation to this day.

Seabourn's enhanced Afternoon Tea Service is now being offered across the Seabourn fleet, with the TWG brand implementation ongoing and set to be completed in the coming weeks.

Seabourn's High Tea, a variation on Afternoon Tea, is offered on select afternoons with formal white glove service and live cooking features or themed menu options as accompaniments. Examples of High Tea themes may include The "Viennese" High Tea with Applestrudel, The "Parisian" High Tea with Crêpes Suzette, The "Venetian" High Tea with Zabaione, and The "Royal" High Tea with English Triffle, which will typically feature more substantial food items than the Afternoon Tea service. Live piano music also accompanies the High Tea experience.

Carnival Introduces ‘The Fun Ones,’ New Marketing Campaign
Carnival Cruise Line has launched a new marketing campaign, “The Fun Ones,” that celebrates the playful spirit of Carnival’s guests, how they choose fun, and the unique bond they have with their fellow cruisers who are “shamelessly true to themselves.”

An evolution of the brand’s Choose Fun campaign that launched in 2018 and introduced Shaquille O’Neal as Carnival said that it ’s Chief Fun Officer, the Fun Ones, created in tandem with advertising agency of record Anomaly, showcases those guests who embrace life by being their most fun-selves on board. Combining vibrant imagery with tag lines like “The Fun Ones Plan for No Plans” and “Choose a Vacation as Fun as You,” the campaign conveys the everyone-is-welcome atmosphere that attracts nearly 6 million guests annually and how they make vacations more fun, while reminding viewers that when guests board a Carnival ship, they’re not sailing with strangers – they’re among friends.

vThis message is delivered in out-of-home elements along with 15-, 30- and 60-second commercials airing in key markets such as Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, Tampa, Houston and Orlando on television and radio, as well as national digital properties including YouTube and Hulu. To view one of the spots, click here. In one spot, a guest goes “full flamingo” and dons a pink flamingo-shaped inner tube as he shamelessly struts along the Lido Deck much to the delight of his fellow shipmates, while a bride playfully takes a plunge into the pool instead of tossing her bouquet to the crowd. “We all have a ‘Fun One’ in our lives – someone we love to be around or want to be like and this campaign showcases the exuberant spirit of our guests who truly make a Carnival cruise a vacation like no other,” said Pete Callaro, senior vice president of brand and product marketing for Carnival Cruise Line. “When consumers see the new spots, they will recognize the ‘Fun One’ in their lives and be inspired to have that fun together on a Carnival cruise.”

Cruise Lines Offer Adventure Excursions to Remember Forever
Cruise passengers set sail for many reasons. They may want to journey to a white sand beach to relax, explore the history of a region, delve into local culture or admire the scenery and wildlife. Then, there are those who see a cruise vacation as opportunity to try something completely new for a thrill of a lifetime.

Adventure shore excursions organized by cruise lines at ports around the world provide the kind of experiences that will have you telling your friends back home, "Yes, I did that on my vacation."

In Ocho Rios, Jamaica, guests on Carnival Cruise Line ships might ride the Mystic Mountain Sky Explorer chairlift up 700 feet through the forest and then feel the adrenaline rush as they race 3,280 feet on a bobsled ride inspired by the famous Jamaican Olympic team. Continue the adventure flying through a tree canopy on a zipline.

For aerial fun at Mahogany Bay in Roatan, Honduras, hop on the Magical Flying Beach Chair that takes guests to the beach via a six-minute ride across nearly 1,200 feet of suspended cables. If that seems too tame, take a leap of faith on the more extreme zipline and beach adventure, traveling up to 70 feet above lush jungle, ravines and water. Or head off on an adventure park excursion that combines a 12-line zipline, eight suspension bridges and two superman ziplines – where you are attached in the middle of your back, spread your arms, and "fly."

At the Rainforest Adventures St. Maarten - Rockland Estate, an eco-park attraction, get a rush on the Flying Dutchman, the world's steepest zipline, reaching speeds of up to 56 miles per hour as you drop 1,050 feet in elevation. The St. Maarten adventure experience begins with a ride on the Soualida Sky Explorer chairlift that gets you up Sentry Hill. For added exhilaration, slide down the mountain on an inner tube, twisting and turning on a specially designed track.

Cozumel is the most visited cruise destination in the Caribbean, and from the Puerta Maya pier, cruise passengers might book an excursion to snorkel with 30-foot-long whale sharks, the world's largest fish. Or boast about your experience as you helmet dive to the world's first underwater oxygen bar, the Clear Lounge Cozumel.

Sun-seekers on Mexican Riviera itineraries, such as one-week cruises from Long Beach on Carnival Cruise Line's new 4,008-passenger Carnival Panorama, may want to consider "The Greatest Outdoor Adventure" excursion. From Puerto Vallarta, the unforgettable experience includes a turn on a new rollercoaster zipline that combines the free-flying sensation of a zip line with the twists and turns of a roller-coaster. That's not all. You also ride an inflatable speedboat, head off-road in a 4x4 and climb aboard a mule, then switch to additional ziplines and rappelling into natural pools.

In Cabo San Lucas, adventure types will want to experience off-road driving in Baja, taking the wheel of a UTV to tear it up on canyon terrain that includes rocks, hills and a brook, plus drive across what's billed as the longest suspension bridge in the world, a 1,082.67-foot expanse, 162 feet above the ground at its lowest point. Or travel into the heart of Boca de la Sierra, one of UNESCO´s protected biosphere reserves, to traverse seven breathtaking ziplines, the highest of which (at 4,000 feet) is Mexico's fastest and longest superman zipline.

Europe has its own share of adventure tour experiences. From Vigo, Spain, guests on the ships of British line P&O Cruises might choose to experience the thrill of white-water rafting on the rapids of the Mino River, traveling with experienced guides on inflatable rafts. In western Norway, adventures include taking the scenic Flåm railway into the mountains with a stop at the roaringly impressive Kjosfossen waterfall, then riding the longest zipline in Scandinavia, zooming down some 4,500 feet.

Or you can jump off a cliff into the sea, with German line AIDA Cruises, which takes passengers to the spectacular "Baía d'Abra" on the Portuguese island of Madeira for a walk and climb over impressive rocks with opportunity for intrepid travelers to cliff jump (there's also the option of dipping in the Atlantic without the jumping part).

On Baltic sailings that visit Stockholm, an option for guests of lines including Italy-based Costa Cruises is a fun tour that explores the city via its rooftops. You wear a safety harness and helmet and hook on to steel cables to walk on rooftops some 108 feet above the ground for views. From Akureyri in northern Iceland, you might put on a helmet and carry a flashlight to explore the underground ice caves of Lofthellir, with their breathtaking natural ice sculptures.

Guests of AIDA Cruises visiting the Middle Eastern Country of Bahrain might explore the world of Formula 1 racing and off-road action, visiting the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC). The tour of the track includes a chance to drive a 4x4 car on an adventure course, with different obstacles along the way.

P&O Cruises Australia appeals to adventurous types with a wealth of experiences taking in the natural surroundings. From Cairns, experience "Rooster Tail," "Cheese Churn" and "Hells Gate" on the Barron River in Queensland on a wild rapids ride. It's an adrenaline rush as you swoosh through gorges and past stunning waterfalls and lush rainforest.

Guests enjoying a P&O Cruises Australia vacation to the South Pacific island of Vanuatu can test their adventurous streak on a zipline suspended in the treetops at Summit Hill, with the valley floor some 262 feet below.

In Alaska, an adventure experience is a must-do, with a myriad of options such as flightseeing, mountain biking, kayaking, ATV riding, ziplining and fishing tours to catch salmon or halibut. You can put on a dry suit or wetsuit and snorkel in Alaska to see multicolored sea urchins, sea cucumbers and other fascinating sea life.

On Princess Cruises, Holland America Line and Cunard – which will do its first full season of cruises in Alaska in 2020 – take a deluxe tour that involves helicoptering to the top of a glacier for a dogsled ride with a professional musher. In addition to the thrill of being on a sled and seeing amazing scenery you'll learn about the care the huskies receive.

Seabourn, with its Ventures by Seabourn program, adds opportunity to get close to nature on exciting private zodiac, hiking and kayaking tours led by the line's experienced expeditions team. You might follow a pod of whales, while admiring eagles overhead. In addition to Alaska, the Ventures program is available in such places as Antarctica, Norway and the Amazon.

Princess Cruises, with its partnership with Discovery™ and Animal Planet, has adventures such as whale watching or visiting a dog sled camp, with special activities that would appeal to kids ages 3 to 12. For grownups and kids age 12 and up, a once-in-a-lifetime Discovery-recommended Helicopter Glacier Trek has you landing on a glacier in the Juneau Icefield and putting on crampons to go trekking on the blue ice.

Holland America Line has such extraordinary shore experiences as hele-hiking, rock climbing and riding on the historic White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad for a snowshoe adventure in the snowy upper reaches of the Tormented Valley in northern British Columbia. These are the sorts of excursions that will have you breathing deeply and thinking, "Wow, it's good to be alive."

Recommendation: Make sure you read any fitness requirements, age and weight requirements before booking an adventure excursion. You'll want to reserve a tour in advance of your cruise, as these small group experiences are very popular.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 48.38 - 5.17%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 131.63 - 1.29%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.76 - 2.56%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 56.80 - 3.06%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the former Holland America liner that along with QE2 ended up being one of last two passenger ships to cross the Atlantic on a regular basis.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Only two four-stack ships were built for service on a route other than the North Atlantic. Name either of these ships and the route they were built for?

Answer - The ships were called Windsor Castle and Arundal Castle and were built for the Union Castle mail run from Southampton to Cape Town. The were re-engined in the late 30s to increase their speed to meet a new mail contract and had a graceful clipper bow fitted. Windsor Castle was lost in World War II but Arundal Castle continued in service until about 1960.
courtesy of Peter Stafford


Cruise News - December 30, 2019

NCL Becomes First Major Global Cruise Company to Eliminate Single-Use Plastic Beverage Bottles Across Fleet
Norwegian Cruise Line is now single-use plastic beverage bottle free across its fleet.

The brand announced last year that it partnered with JUST Goods, Inc., which enabled the Cruise Line to replace all single-use plastic water bottles across its 17-ship fleet, beginning with its most recent ship, Norwegian Encore.

The achievement is one of the latest sustainable steps forward for Norwegian Cruise Line. In 2018, the Company eliminated single-use plastic straws across its fleet and private destinations, and as a result of this most recent initiative, it will replace over six million single-use plastic water bottles every year. In addition, the brand is working to eliminate single-use plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles later this year. These efforts are driven by the Company’s Sail & Sustain Environmental Program, which is its commitment to minimize waste to landfills, reduce its CO2 emissions rate, increase sustainable sourcing and invest in emerging technologies.

“This is a very special and very proud moment for us,” said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “As a leading cruise line, we are thrilled to make such an impact by eliminating single-use beverage bottles across our fleet. It’s just one of the ways we are working to preserve our oceans and the destinations we visit. While this is just the beginning of what we and others can do, we are incredibly committed to our Sail & Sustain program and believe wholeheartedly in the importance of preserving our natural resources. We will continue to strive towards making environmentally conscious decisions to benefit our earth.”

Envisioned and founded by American rapper, songwriter, actor and activist Jaden Smith and family, JUST takes an innovative approach to sourcing and packaging the world’s most valued resource - water. The revolutionary company focuses on an impact model, taking into consideration both how the water is sourced and packaged. JUST is 100% spring water in a plant-based carton. The carton is made of 82% renewable materials – the paper carton is made from trees grown in responsibly-managed forests and the cap and shoulder are made from a sugarcane-based plastic. It is refillable and recyclable. JUST has a global presence with bottling facilities in Glenn Falls, NY; Ballymena, Northern Ireland; and Ballarat, Australia, thus allowing Carnival said that it to meet demand around the world without shipping water from a single production source. JUST takes care to use the most efficient shipping options available.

Celebrity Cruises’ Announces 2021-2022 Season Of Sailings
Celebrity Cruises invites guests to discover a world of new with the unveiling of their 2021-22 season of sailings, where the brand’s growing fleet of 14 stunning ships will visit more than 280 destinations in nearly 75 countries across all seven continents.

“Our mission at Celebrity Cruises is to open up the world for our guests,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “For our 2021-22 season of sailings, we’ve searched the planet to curate the most incredible new and world-opening vacation experiences we could find. We’ll bring you to places that will stay with you long after you’ve left them, including new ports of call in Europe, Asia, South America, and Alaska.”

Celebrity’s lineup of destinations is expanding to include eight spectacular new ports of call in 2021-22, including Taranto, Italy; Salvador de Bahia, Brazil; Ilocos, Philippines; Ishigaki, Japan; three new ports in Greece – Zakynthos, Hydra, and Thessaloniki; and the Kenai Peninsula in Homer, Alaska, the highlight of a brand-new Cruisetour debuting in 2021. The brand’s new season of sailings will also feature more than 125 overnight stays in more than 30 of the world’s most dynamic places, including a new overnight stay in Porto, Portugal, and the chance to celebrate New Year’s Eve with a Latin twist in the vibrant city of Montevideo, Uruguay.

Of course, the highly awarded Celebrity Edge is a destination in itself – named one of the World’s Greatest Places of 2019 by TIME Magazine – and the second-in-series Celebrity Apex is poised to double that perfection.

Lutoff-Perlo continued: “Not only are we sailing to exciting new places, but we’re introducing stunning new spaces across more of our award-winning fleet as THE CELEBRITY REVOLUTION reaches its peak, marking the first time guests will be able to sail to all the regions we visit on ‘revolutionized’ ships.”

In the new season, the newly modernized Celebrity Solstice will mark a historic first: The first ship in Celebrity’s groundbreaking Solstice Series to sail Asia. Celebrity Eclipse will also return to the Last Frontier for the first time since its “revolutionary” transformation, while Celebrity Infinity will sail its first Mediterranean season since being transformed from bow to stern. Celebrity Millennium is also charting a new course for the warm, turquoise waters of the Caribbean, offering two exciting new itineraries, including a 10-night Eastern Caribbean itinerary and a short, four-night weekend escape calling Key West, Florida, and Nassau, Bahamas.

Michelin-Starred Chef Michel Roux Jr to Headline Cunard’s First Ever “Festival of Food and Wine” Voyage
Cunard Linne has announced a world-class line up for their first ever ‘Festival of Food & Wine’ on board flagship Queen Mary 2. Guests will enjoy an array of cooking demonstrations, wine pairings and events hosted by a variety of food and wine experts onboard.

The seven-night Transatlantic Crossing, which departs Southampton, England on June 7 and arrives in New York on June 14, 2020, will bring together some of the most leading officials in the food and wine industry, including legendary chef Michel Roux Jr.

Michel Roux Jr. is the owner of one of the UK’s finest Michelin-starred French cuisine restaurants, Le Gavroche. While onboard, he will indulge guests in a feast of the senses with a series of hosted dinners in The Verandah restaurant as well as a three-course signature gala meal in the Britannia Grill. He will be joined by Le Gavroche Executive Chef, Rachel Humphrey, as they hold cooking demonstrations and a Q&A during the voyage.

“Following on from the success of Voyage du Vin last year, we are delighted to be expanding the concept on board Queen Mary 2 in June 2020,” said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. “Guests will be able to indulge their taste buds as they sample delicious wines and meals prepared by one of the world’s leading Michelin-starred chefs, Michel Roux Jr.”

Michel Roux Jr. said, “I am thrilled to be joining Cunard on the first ever Food & Wine voyage on their flagship Queen Mary 2, alongside various experts in their fields. For the first time ever, I will be taking Le Gavroche to sea – offering spectacular meals for guests to enjoy across the week. This will be a very special voyage, and I can’t wait to get on board.”

In addition, award-winning wine writer and columnist Will Lyons, Food Editor Lisa Markwell and celebrated wine critic Steven Spurrier will be offering their valuable insight and knowledge on the food and wine industry. While onboard, guests will be able to further indulge in the atmosphere by joining the Cunard Wine Academy and gaining a WSET Level 1 award during the crossing, a recognized qualification by the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

Carnival Panorama Features Largest Retail Collection in the Fleet
After a successful debut in Long Beach, Calif. last week, Carnival Cruise Line revealed that Carnival Panorama features the largest retail collection in its fleet.

Among the new offerings is the line’s most expansive beauty footprint at sea with interactive hands-on events, mini-makeovers and beauty workshops such as smoky eye tutorials and contouring classes as well as a shop dedicated to the launch of the line’s reimagined and fashion-forward logo merchandise collection.

“We are thrilled to launch our most fun shopping experience in the fleet onboard Carnival Panorama. We’ve partnered with brands that our guests love and have introduced new brands that are sure to become Carnival fan favorites,” said William Butler, vice president of retail services for Carnival Cruise Line. “Our Panorama retail experience allows our guests to Choose Fun however they want whether it’s sporting a new beauty brand or fun designs from our new logo apparel assortment.”

At the new ‘Beauty Bar’ on Deck 5, beauty specialists guide guests as they indulge in the best makeover experiences at sea – perfect for a night on board or a special occasion. The Beauty Bar features an assortment of top skincare, cosmetics and fragrance brands including Urban Decay, Dior, Estée Lauder, and Clinique, among others.

Other onboard retail offerings include the largest Effy jewelry assortment in the fleet with exclusive Carnival Panorama pieces and a first-ever Carnival-branded inaugural collection; Carnival’s most expansive watch assortment with fine and fashion timepieces; terrific branded shop experiences with John Hardy and Swarovski; along with retail items connected to the Pixels Photo Gallery experience and shore excursions from Carnival Adventures.

Carnival Panorama’s new logo collection includes hundreds of exclusive items that combine fashionable designs and patterns with fun and reimagined takes on the line’s signature red, white and blue winged funnel and “Choose Fun” tag line. The line partnered with artists to further expand the assortment, giving guests a unique take on souvenir items that evoke special memories from their Carnival cruise experiences.

The assortment features nearly 100 items as part of a Carnival Panorama inaugural retail collection, a “California Collection” with designs inspired by the Golden State and all of the classic logo items that guests know and love.

“For this collection, we listened to our guests who are spirited ambassadors of the brand and pushed our prior design boundaries to create an incredible assortment of lifestyle-based logo options that put the fun in FUNction and fashion,” said Butler.

Carnival Panorama is also home to the largest Cherry on Top in the fleet offering more than just tempting treats. In addition to the line’s widest candy assortment with 120 kinds of bulk candy, the “sweetest spot on board” also offers a host of new novelty products including a whimsical Dr. Seuss at Sea collection in collaboration with longtime partner Dr. Seuss Enterprises.

Carnival Panorama began year-round seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises on Dec. 14, 2019, with stops in Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 51.02 - 0.47%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 133.35 - 0.04%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.78 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 58.59 + 0.14%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Only two four-stack ships were built for service on a route other than the North Atlantic. Name either of these ships and the route they were built for?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
In which year and on which vessels were the first bathrooms installed?

Answer - 1870, aboard Abyssinia & Algeria.
courtesy of Herbert VanDeGraft


Cruise News - December 23, 2019

Carnival Cruise Line Revises Delivery Date For Mardi Gras
Carnival Cruise Line has been informed by officials at the Meyer Turku shipyard that delivery of Mardi Gras will be delayed and is advising booked guests and travel advisors that the first revenue sailing of the ship will be Nov. 14, 2020.

With this new schedule, Carnival will now take delivery of the ship in late October and its first revenue sailing will depart from Port Canaveral on Nov. 14, 2020. Consequently, the first eight sailings that were scheduled starting Aug. 31 have been cancelled, including European, transatlantic and New York-based itineraries and four Port Canaveral itineraries.

Carnival said that the guest notification process began promptly after the notice by Meyer Turku so that impacted guests could begin to make alternative vacation plans. As a gesture of goodwill, Carnival is offering these guests a 25 percent future cruise credit (FCC), in addition to the full refund of their cruise fare (and applicable fees and taxes and other pre-purchased cruise components), as well as assistance with non-refundable airline and hotel reservations already booked. In addition, if guests rebook their cruise vacation using their 25 percent FCC by Feb. 18, 2020, they will be credited with an additional $100 per person onboard credit for that cruise. Carnival has also communicated guidelines to travel advisors regarding commission protection.

"We have been working closely with Meyer Turku executives to keep the Mardi Gras delivery on schedule, and while we deeply regret disappointing our guests, this change in the delivery date is required to make sure all of the ship's systems, features and technology will be fully operational, so that we can give our guests the vacation they expect. Our commitment is to deliver a great and innovative ship, and Mardi Gras will definitely be that when it arrives in North America," said Ben Clement, Carnival Cruise Line's senior vice president of newbuild.

Odyssey of the Seas To Make Bold, European Entrance
Royal Caribbean International's newest ship, Odyssey of the Seas, will deliver a bold lineup of sought-after destinations as the first Quantum Ultra Class ship to homeport in Rome and sail through the Eastern Mediterranean for the summer season. Royal Caribbean's game-changing ship will be the first to tout a combination of longer stays in every destination and overnights across some of the Mediterranean's most luring cities and famed beach destinations. The highly anticipated ship will debut in November 2020, sailing from Fort Lauderdale to the Caribbean for her first season, before continuing her inaugural year in Europe. Odyssey's Mediterranean cruises for summer 2021 open today for bookings.

Beginning May 2021, Odyssey will take travelers on sun-soaked summer vacations in the Eastern Mediterranean on 7-, 9- and 12-night itineraries to the scenic shores and ancient ruins of Santorini, Mykonos and Athens, Greece; Ephesus and Rhodes, Turkey; Naples, Italy; Heraklion, Crete; and Haifa and Jerusalem, Israel. Vacationers will have more time than ever to explore local cultures with maximum time on shore, from longer days – up to 15 hours at every port -- spent enjoying the multihued waters and beaches of Mykonos and waterfront tavernas of Santorini on 7-night getaways to the Greek Isles, to a double dose of destinations with overnight stays and two full days in Athens and Naples on both 9-night Greek Isles and 12-night Holy Land sailings.

"Odyssey will set the standard for delivering unforgettable European adventures, on which travelers will cruise to an exceptional combination of destinations that are in a league of their own as the most popular ports in the Eastern Mediterranean," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "With extended stays and overnights, Royal Caribbean is combining amazing itineraries with our game-changing ship to create a truly one-of-a-kind Europe vacation."

The lineup of local experiences available to guests go beyond historic attractions, digging deeper into the vibrant culture and communities of the picturesque destinations. Highlights of adventures in store for Odyssey of the Seas guests:

• Sorrento and Amalfi Coast: When visiting Naples, guests can explore the Amalfi Coast, shop for majolica pottery, sample Southern Italian cuisine and enjoy downtime while wandering the flower-filled streets of Sorrento.

• Athens: Foodies can partake in the culinary history of Athens with a traditional cooking class for a taste of the local culture. Escorted by a local chef, the day begins with ingredient shopping in the Central Food Market before heading to the restaurant to prepare local dishes.

• Mykonos: A beach day for the books, where the entire family can soak up the Cycladean sun at one of Mykonos' best stretches of surf and sand.

• Crete: Foodies can embark on a visit to Boutari on the Fantaxometocho Estate, one of the most modern and impressive wineries of Crete, and sample a selection of homegrown wines produced onsite. The neighboring, recently restored village of Archanes is a 'must see' with its colorful backstreets, blooming flowers and fruit trees.

• Jerusalem and Bethlehem: The distinguished history of two biblically significant cities are brought to life while touring storied landmarks, such as The Wailing Wall, Church of the Nativity and Mount of Olives.

• Nazareth: By way of Haifa, vacationers will travel the region of Galilee to explore Nazareth and its churches, including the Church of Annunciation and the Church of St. Gabriel.

When Odyssey of the Seas makes her North American debut in November 2020, the new ship will be the first of her class to sail the Caribbean's clear blue waters and visit far-flung destinations like Curacao, Aruba, Grand Cayman and Mexico on 8- and 6-night itineraries from Fort Lauderdale. Odyssey will return to Fort Lauderdale in November 2021 for a second winter, sailing the same combination of itineraries. Caribbean cruises for winter 2021-22 open on Dec. 19, 2019.

The Quantum Ultra Class ship will tout game-changing, technological innovations like the next generation SeaPlex, the largest indoor space for recreational activities at sea, which will see the addition of this venue's first Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade with club-level views of the competition below; a reimagined Adventure Ocean kids program and a maxed-out teen lounge with gaming consoles, music and movies. Guests onboard Odyssey can enjoy all-new dining, including Teppanyaki, serving East Asian flavors in a traditional Japanese style; and Giovanni's Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar with rustic Italian dishes and a contemporary flair. Odyssey's vibrant, two-level pool deck will feature two open-air, resort-style pools and four whirlpools with shady casitas and hammocks. The ship will also feature guest favorites, including FlowRider surf simulator; skydiving with Ripcord by iFly; the iconic North Star glass capsule that boasts 360-degree views from 300 feet above sea level; and robot bartenders at Bionic Bar.

Carnival Corporation & plc Reports Fourth Quarter And Full Year Earnings
Carnival Corporation & plc announced financial results for the full year and fourth quarter ended November 30, 2019 and provided an outlook for the full year and first quarter 2020.

Key Highlights

Full Year 2019

• U.S. GAAP net income of $3.0 billion, or $4.32 diluted EPS, for the full year 2019, compared to U.S. GAAP net income for the full year 2018 of $3.2 billion, or $4.44 diluted EPS.

• Record full year 2019 adjusted net income of $3.0 billion, or $4.40 adjusted EPS, compared to adjusted net income of $3.0 billion, or $4.26 adjusted EPS, for the full year 2018.

• Adjusted net income excludes net charges of $52 million for the full year 2019 and net gains of $123 million for the full year 2018.

• Record total revenues for the full year 2019 were $20.8 billion, higher than $18.9 billion for the full year 2018.

• Gross cruise revenues of $20.4 billion, higher than $18.6 billion for the prior year.

• In constant currency, net cruise revenues of $16.0 billion, higher than $15.4 billion for the prior year, an increase of 4.0 percent.

Fourth Quarter 2019

• U.S. GAAP net income of $423 million, or $0.61 diluted EPS, for the fourth quarter of 2019, compared to U.S. GAAP net income for the fourth quarter of 2018 of $494 million, or $0.71 diluted EPS.

• Fourth quarter 2019 adjusted net income of $427 million, or $0.62 adjusted EPS, compared to adjusted net income of $492 million, or $0.70 adjusted EPS, for the fourth quarter of 2018.

• Adjusted net income excludes net charges of $5 million for the fourth quarter of 2019 and net gains of $2 million for the fourth quarter of 2018.

• Record total revenues for the fourth quarter of 2019 were $4.8 billion, higher than $4.5 billion for the fourth quarter of 2018.

• Gross cruise revenues of $4.7 billion for the fourth quarter of 2019, higher than $4.4 billion for the fourth quarter of 2018.

In constant currency, net cruise revenues of $3.7 billion compared to $3.7 billion for the fourth quarter of 2018, an increase of 0.5 percent. Fourth Quarter 2019 Results

Carnival Corporation & plc President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald noted, "Exceeding our fourth quarter guidance enabled us to have strong full year earnings per share and another year of record adjusted earnings. We overcame a high number of unusual events compounded by a significant downturn in leisure travel demand for our large source markets in Continental Europe. In that environment, to achieve record revenues and adjusted earnings is an accomplishment for any consumer company, a credit to our 150,000 team members and demonstrates the robustness of our business model."

Key financial information for the fourth quarter of 2019 compared to the fourth quarter of 2018:

• Gross revenue yields (revenue per available lower berth day or "ALBD") increased 4.0 percent. In constant currency, net revenue yields decreased 1.8 percent, better than September guidance of down 2.0 to 3.0 percent.

• Gross cruise costs including fuel per ALBD increased 6.9 percent. In constant currency, net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD increased 2.6 percent, better than September guidance of up 4.0 to 5.0 percent, due to cost improvements realized during the quarter and timing of expenses between quarters.

• Changes in fuel prices and currency exchange rates increased earnings by $0.11 per share.

Highlights during the fourth quarter:

• Princess Cruises' Sky Princess and Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Panorama were both delivered in October 2019.

• P&O Cruises (Australia) entered into an agreement to sell Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria, which will both leave the fleet in 2021.

• The company was honored with the Skift Design Award for Best Cruise Experience for its OceanCompass™, within the Princess MedallionClass Experience.

• Seabourn received 14 top travel awards and distinctions from highly regarded magazines including: TIME, Cruise International, American Airlines Celebrated Living and Travel Weekly (U.S.).

• The company began construction of the cruise industry's first cruise terminal in Japan, located at the port of Sasebo.

• The company's CSMART Academy was recognized for excellence in maritime safety training by SAFETY4SEA for a second consecutive year.

• The company's efforts in corporate governance and in social and environmental responsibility were recognized by Newsweek Magazine and included in their list of America's Most Responsible Companies.

Other highlights include the delivery of Costa Smeralda, the second of the 11 ordered LNG ships. In addition, Carnival said that it continues to lead the industry in the development of environmentally friendly fuel solutions and carbon emissions reduction. AIDA announced it will be the world's first cruise company to test the use of fuel cells, which will be powered by hydrogen derived from methanol and enable the power supply onboard. This is in addition to its recently announced innovation, the first lithium-ion battery storage system ever to be deployed on a cruise ship, AIDAperla.

The company has also formalized a collaborative partnership with The Bahamas to fund and support flood damage repairs and basic restoration efforts at Rand Memorial Hospital, the primary hospital in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island. This partnership builds on Carnival said that it 's previously announced financial aid, supply donations and other relief efforts aiding the recovery from Hurricane Dorian. The company also remains fully committed to its new developments on Grand Bahama Island and Half Moon Cay.

Full Year 2020 Outlook

The company is entering fiscal year 2020 with a record booked occupancy position. At this time, cumulative advanced bookings for the full year 2020 are slightly ahead of the prior year at prices that are slightly lower compared to 2019 on a comparable basis, which does not include the net revenue yields brand mix headwind of approximately 0.5 percent for the full year 2020.

Booking volumes at the beginning of the fourth quarter were impacted by Hurricane Dorian. During the last eight weeks, booking volumes have been running higher with prices that are in line for the full year 2020 compared to 2019 on a comparable basis.

Based on current booking trends, Carnival said that it expects full year 2020 constant currency net cruise revenues to be up approximately 5.0 percent, with capacity growth of 6.6 percent, and net revenue yields in constant currency expected to be down approximately 1.5 percent compared to the prior year. Net revenue yields for the full year 2020 include a brand mix headwind of approximately 0.5 percent and an additional headwind of approximately 0.5 percent, primarily due to ship delivery delays, including today's Mardi Gras announcement. The company expects full year net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD in constant currency to be in line compared to the prior year, which also includes an impact of over 0.5 percent caused by ship delivery delays and an accounting difference. As previously indicated, in 2020 Carnival said that it will increase its usage of Marine Gasoil ("MGO") as a percent of total fuel consumption as a result of the International Maritime Organization ("IMO") sulfur emission regulations. MGO is currently anticipated to represent 40 percent to 45 percent of fuel consumption for full year 2020 compared to 21 percent for full year 2019. The company's usage of Heavy Fuel Oil ("HFO") is expected to be 55 percent to 50 percent of fuel consumption for full year 2020 and all other fuel types is expected to be approximately 5.0 percent.

The impact of changes in fuel mix, fuel prices and currency exchange rates are expected to increase earnings by $0.17 to $0.24 per share compared to the prior year. Full year 2020 earnings are expected to include $0.12 to $0.17 per share incremental impact from prior year events and previously announced voyage disruptions, including ship delivery delays. Based on the above factors, Carnival said that it expects full year 2020 adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $4.30 to $4.60 compared to 2019 adjusted earnings per share of $4.40.

Donald added, "Despite the negative impacts from the tail effect of the high number of unusual events in 2019, as well as a continuation of the negative headwinds facing our Continental European source markets, our brands continue to perform and we are at record booked occupancy levels for 2020 on peak capacity growth. Given the evolution of conditions in Continental Europe, and recognizing the timing of significant capacity increases we have in our European portfolio, we are taking a number of actions to adapt over time. Globally, we are also taking actions to further stimulate demand and increase our cost efficiencies in 2020 and beyond. With annual cash from operations of $5.5 billion, our balance sheet is strong as are our brands and we believe we are well positioned to return to double-digit earnings growth and elevated ROIC over time."

First Quarter 2020 Outlook

First quarter constant currency net cruise revenues are expected to be up approximately 4.0 percent, with capacity growth of 6.0 percent, and net revenue yields in constant currency expected to be down 1.0 to 2.0 percent compared to the prior year. Net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD in constant currency for the first quarter of 2020 are expected to be down 2.0 to 3.0 percent compared to the prior year, the majority of which is driven by lower dry-dock days during the quarter.

MGO is currently anticipated to represent 40 percent to 45 percent of fuel consumption for the first quarter 2020 compared to approximately 14 percent for the first quarter 2019. The company's usage of HFO is expected to be 55 percent to 50 percent of fuel consumption for first quarter 2020 and all other fuel types is expected to be approximately 5.0 percent.

The impact of changes in fuel mix, fuel prices and currency exchange rates are expected to increase earnings by approximately $0.01 per share compared to the prior year. Based on the above factors, Carnival said that it expects first quarter 2020 adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $0.47 to $0.51 compared to 2019 adjusted earnings per share of $0.49.

Witness the Total Solar Eclipse Aboard the World's First Hybrid Electric-Powered Expedition Ship
Hurtigruten today announced the line's 2021 total solar eclipse voyages, featuring Antarctica itineraries on the industry's most advanced and environmentally-friendly ships.

"We will sail both the world's first hybrid electric-powered expedition ship, the MS Roald Amundsen, and her sister ship, the MS Fram, to prime positions outside the South Orkney Islands aiming to see this spectacular natural phenomenon," said Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam.

Weather permitting, the total solar eclipse will only be visible from Antarctica, with the next event not occurring for another 75 years.

"This is a unique opportunity for a very limited number of modern-day adventure travelers to both immerse in the seventh continent and its icebergs, penguins, seals, whales and birds, and at the same time have front-row access to an astonishing planetary display," added Skjeldam.

Hurtigruten will enlist a team of curated experts to provide travelers with immersive lectures and insights on the eclipse while on board. The team will supplement Hurtigruten's already extensive expedition team, consisting of leaders in scientific areas such as marine biology, glaciology, oceanography and photography.

"We aim for all Hurtigruten sailings to be life-changing and transformational," said Skjeldam. "These experts will further deepen and expand this unequalled possibility to experience one of nature's most striking events."

The ship's science center serves as a hub where guests and experts meet over microscopes and other scientific equipment to learn about the waters and wildlife the ship is navigating. Guests are also encouraged to partake in different citizen science projects offered on board.

Princess Cruises Reveals 2021 Alaska Cruises and Cruisetours
Princess Cruises announced its 2021 Alaska season with eight ships calling to 17 destinations on 11 unique itineraries from five homeports on sale now. Also included in the 2021 season are 25 cruisetour options which combine a 7-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise with multiple days on land, scenic rail travel and overnight stays at Princess Wilderness Lodges.

Highlights of the 2021 Princess Cruises Alaska season, running from May through September, include:

• New! Regal Princess debuts in Alaska, sailing roundtrip Seattle on Sundays on seven-day Inside Passage cruises, opposite Emerald Princess on Saturdays.

• Royal Princess, Star Princess, Sapphire Princess and Coral Princess, sail between Vancouver and Anchorage (Whittier) on the popular Voyage of the Glaciers itinerary, with two glacier-viewing experiences.

• Guests sailing on these voyages can choose to take a cruisetour, traveling through the interior of Alaska to Denali National Park before or after their cruise.

• Ruby Princess becomes the largest ship to sail on the cruise line's 10-day Inside Passage voyage, roundtrip from San Francisco offering guests the added bucket-list experience of sailing under the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

• Sun Princess homeports out of both Vancouver and Los Angeles, sailing on 7 day Inside Passage cruises roundtrip Vancouver in early summer, then offering 14 day Inside Passage cruises roundtrip Los Angeles later in the summer.

• Coral Princess offers a 12-day Inside Passage cruise in May, roundtrip from Vancouver, featuring Glacier Bay National Park, Hubbard Glacier and Prince Rupert, B.C.

• More Ashore late-night stays on many voyages in Alaska's capital city Juneau.

• Back by popular demand! 17-night Ultimate Princess cruisetour featuring two nights at each one of the five Princess wilderness lodges with visits to five national parks. The services of a tour director and most meals on land are also included.

• This season, five ships in Alaska will be MedallionClass (Regal, Royal, Ruby, Emerald, and Coral). Star Princess will also feature MedallionNet, the best Wi-Fi at sea.

"With our rich history in Alaska, Princess Cruises continues to differentiate itself to deliver a truly authentic Alaska experience that connects our guests with the local culture and wilderness on a cruise or cruisetour," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "Our 2021 lineup includes plenty of choices so travelers with big and small groups, various budgets and vacation time available can visit and take in the unmatched beauty of Alaska."

Princess Cruises offers key product differentiators in Alaska, including:

• Award-winning North to Alaska program featuring Cook My Catch, an exclusive culinary program allowing guests to return from select Princess fishing excursions only to have the chef prepare their very own catch of the day. Also offered, the crowd-favorite Puppies in the Piazza, where real Alaska sled dog puppies are brought on board for guests to interact with.

• MedallionClass-enabled cruise ships, powered by OceanMedallion, the most advanced wearable device in the global hospitality industry, delivering a hassle-free, personalized vacation that gives guests more time to connect with loved ones, make new friends and enjoy what they love most about cruising.

• Exclusive Discovery and Animal Planet shore excursions, giving guests opportunities to catch a glimpse of Alaska wildlife, including bears, whales, bald eagles and more. In addition, Princess has partnered with a team of local experts in Alaska to give guests even more exclusive and authentic experiences ashore as part of the cruise line's award-winning Local Connections program, like cooking with an Alaska chef or going on a photo safari with a nature photographer.

In addition to Alaska cruises, Princess Cruises is the only cruise line to own and operate five Alaska wilderness lodges, all located riverside near national parks. Cruisetour highlights include:

• Two unique perspectives to see Denali, the tallest mountain in North America at 20,310 feet from two lodges – Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge and Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge.

• Exclusive Direct to the Wilderness rail service, taking guests directly to and from their cruise ship to the Denali area.

• More remote lodge locations including Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge, overlooking Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge, near Kenai Fjords National Park.

• Unique Alaska experiences including a treehouse at the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge built by Pete Nelson of Animal Planet's Treehouse Masters. In addition, lodge guests will hear first-hand tales from mountain climbers who have conquered Denali as they tell their exhilarating stories in the Hudson Theater.

• Fannie Q's Saloon and Fireside Patio at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, named after the famous local Alaska pioneer Fannie Quigley, is located in the center of the property and features a modern saloon ambience with indoor and outdoor seating, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The fireside patio offers a new gathering place for guests to roast marshmallows, talk about their adventures and have a drink under the midnight sun.

2019 marked Princess Cruises 50th season sailing in Alaska. In celebration of this great milestone, Princess Cruises connected with local communities to give back to the people who make Alaska one of the most unique and memorable destinations in the world. This includes:

• Scholarship Donations: Princess Cruises granted 14 local graduates a college scholarship totaling $34,000 for students graduating from Ketchikan High School, Skagway High School and Tri-Valley and Cantwell High Schools in Healy.

• Masters of the Sea totem pole: To thank the local community of Ketchikan, for supporting Princess Cruises over the last 50 years, the cruise line dedicated a specially-crafted totem pole to this charming coastal town. The Masters of the Sea totem pole, housed at the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau, was crafted by local carver and cultural ambassador as part of Princess Cruises North to Alaska program, Kelly White. The totem pole was carved onboard Ruby Princess.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 51.26 + 9.09%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 133.40 + 5.71%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.78 + 11.43%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 58.51 + 5.96%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
In which year and on which vessels were the first bathrooms installed?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Name the two 14,000 ton sister ships that entered service for Cunard in 1971 & 1972 and were replaced in 1976 & 1977.

Answer - The Cunard Adventurer and the Cunard Ambassador were built in 1971 and 1972. They were replaced by the Cunard Countess and the Cunard Princess.
courtesy of Larry P. MacDonald, Belmont, MA. USA


Cruise News - December 16, 2019

Carnival Panorama Officially Named By Wheel Of Fortune's Vanna White
The arrival of Carnival Panorama – the line's first new ship on the West Coast in 20 years – was celebrated in true Carnival Cruise Line fashion with Wheel of Fortune's Vanna White serving as godmother and officially naming the ship during a memorable ceremony on board.

White delivered poignant comments during which she spoke about her love of cruising and the commitment she shares with Carnival to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, as well as the cruise line's relationship with Wheel of Fortune, which she has co-hosted for the past 37 years.

Then, in a nod to her role on Wheel of Fortune, America's Game, White turned a series of letters spelling out PANORAMA that triggered the release of a bottle of Moet champagne to officially name the ship.

"I'm incredibly flattered and honored to be the godmother of this ship." said White. "Naming Carnival Panorama was truly a special moment, and one I will never forget. I look forward to sailing on her in the future."

The festivities also included a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Carnival Kitchen, a first-in-fleet culinary center that offers more than 15 different interactive cooking, baking and decorating demonstrations.

Joining Carnival President Christine Duffy at the ribbon cutting were Carnival's team of "Culinary All Stars" including Guy Fieri whose Burger Joint and Smokehouse Brewhouse are featured on Carnival Panorama, as well as Emeril Lagasse and Rudi Sodamin, who each will have new restaurants, Emeril's Bistro 1396 and Rudi's Seagrill, respectively, on the new Mardi Gras when it debuts next year.

"One of the things we are most proud of is the delicious food we offer across our fleet," said Duffy. "To celebrate Carnival Panorama's inaugural with our very own 'Feast of Fun' featuring our amazing culinary team both on board and through our partnerships really added to the celebration."

The grand opening of the first Sky Zone trampoline park at sea was celebrated with Duffy and Sky Zone CEO Jeff Platt cutting the ribbon followed by the first participants checking out the high-flying action within the two-level, 3,000-square-foot facility.

The day included a return of the Carnival AirShip, a 128-foot-long blimp emblazoned with the line's Choose Fun tag line and concluded with a massive fireworks display that lit up the Long Beach sky.

Following an inaugural three-day cruise, Carnival Panorama will launch year-round seven-day Mexican Riviera service from Long Beach, Calif., Dec. 14, departing every Saturday on week-long voyages to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas.

Cunard Announces 2021 Alaska and 2022 World & Exotics Voyages
Cunard announced today its 2022 World & Exotic Voyage Program, which runs from January through April, featuring a full World Voyage, in-depth itineraries in Japan and Australia, and a spectacular cruise around Cape Horn. The Cunard fleet, including Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria, and flagship liner Queen Mary 2, will call at 93 destinations in 42 different countries, including five maiden calls in Australia, Brazil, Vanuatu and Japan. In addition, Queen Elizabeth will sail her 2021 Alaska season with seven roundtrip voyages from Vancouver or Victoria, ranging from 10-12 nights each.

2022 marks a special year in Cunard's history as it is the 100th Anniversary of the line's first World Cruise when the American Express Company chartered Cunard's Laconia to sail the first continuous circumnavigation of the globe by a passenger liner, following in the path of Magellan's fleet four hundred years previously. Over the last century, the World Voyage has become the ultimate travel experience, and no other company has taken more passengers on world cruises than Cunard.

In early of 2022, Queen Victoria will continue Cunard's tradition of world cruising by operating a full westbound World Voyage that will travel over 37,600 nautical miles and visit 29 ports in 19 countries.

The iconic Queen Mary 2 will sail a new 71-night winter escape through the pristine beaches of the Caribbean and around the vibrant cities of South America. She will call at 17 ports in 14 countries with access to 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a magnificent journey through the Chilean Fjords sailing around the bottom of the world at Cape Horn. Queen Mary 2 will also chart her first-ever Northern Lights voyage in Norway, offering guests the chance to see the elusive sights of the Aurora Borealis in the early spring.

Queen Elizabeth will embark on her Voyages of Discovery series with regionally-focused itineraries in Australia and Japan, ranging from seven to 23 nights. With six overnight calls and seven evenings in port, guests will have time to immerse themselves in exotic destinations and rich cultures.

In addition to the 2022 world & exotic voyages, Cunard has announced Queen Elizabeth's 2021 Alaska season from June through September which consists of seven roundtrip voyages from Vancouver or Victoria, ranging from 10-12 nights. The itineraries feature the region's highlight ports such as Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, as well as stunning scenic cruising in the narrow waterways of the Inside Passage offering up close views of glaciers, mountains, fjords and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Glacier Bay National Park.

"Cunard's ships will be at opposite ends of the earth for our 2022 world & Exotic voyages so guests can explore whichever part of the globe calls them," said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. "Whether it's the legendary World Cruise on Queen Victoria, exotic sailings on Queen Elizabeth, or exploring South America on our flagship Queen Mary 2, guests can see the world in style, only on Cunard."

Cunard World Club members will be able to book exclusively beginning on December 18, 2019, and booking will open for the public on December 19, 2019.

Queen Mary 2
In 2022, Queen Mary 2 will embark on a new route, sailing to the Caribbean and South America, which can be taken as a roundtrip from Hamburg (73 nights), London (71 nights) or New York (55 nights) or a number of smaller segments. The voyage begins in January from Southampton with a Transatlantic Crossing to New York, then calls at a series of destinations in the eastern Caribbean. From there Queen Mary 2 will continue south to Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile, retracing the steps of famous explorers as she rounds Cape Horn and traverses the Magellan Straits and Beagle Channel. On her return north, the ship will stop at Rio de Janeiro, in time to celebrate the world-famous Carnival. She will call at additional Caribbean ports on her journey back to New York before Crossing the Atlantic to Southampton.

In late March, Queen Mary 2 will sail her first-ever Norway Northern Lights voyage, which features an extended call to Tromso above the Arctic Circle offering guests the opportunity to witness this awe-inspiring natural phenomenon.

Queen Mary 2's 2022 deployment features:

• New Caribbean and South America Voyages

• Grand Voyages, by Cunard and Regions, by Cunard

• 23 voyage combinations ranging from two to 73 nights

• Over 30,700 nautical miles

• 17 ports in 14 countries

• Two maiden calls in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Puerto Madryn, Argentina

• Overnight stays in Montevideo, Uruguay and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

• Scenic Cruising around Cape Horn, through the Magellan Straights and Beagle Channel

• 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria's World Voyage will be a classic Westbound circumnavigation through the Panama Canal which can be taken as a roundtrip from either Hamburg (112 nights) or London (108 nights). Her voyage will begin by crossing the Atlantic to Florida via Bermuda, followed by a trans-Panama segment. Queen Victoria will then cross the Pacific Ocean via Hawaii and Samoa to New Zealand and from there she will call in Sydney, Australia's Gold Coast and Great Barrier Reef before traveling to Hong Kong via Papa New Guinea and the Philippines. Following her Asia visit, she will return to London via Singapore, the Indian Ocean and South Africa.

Queen Victoria's 2022 deployment features:

• The World Voyage, by Cunard

• Grand Voyages, by Cunard and Regions, by Cunard

• 25 voyage combinations ranging from two to 112 nights

• Over 37,600 nautical miles

• 29 ports in 19 countries

• Two maiden calls in Alotau and Kiriwina, Papa New Guinea

• Overnight stays in San Francisco, Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore and Cape Town

• Scenic cruising through the Panama Canal

• 19 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Queen Elizabeth
From mid-November 2021 through early March 2022, Queen Elizabeth will spend time in Australia, operating three roundtrip voyages from Melbourne and five form Sydney covering the regions of South Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand. She will sail a new South Pacific Islands voyage featuring calls in Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia and will also offer "open-jaw" New Zealand voyages, traveling from Sydney to Auckland and the reverse.

At the end of the Australia season in March, Queen Elizabeth will travel north to Japan via Southeast Asia. The voyage will include a variety of exciting destinations such as Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Shanghai and a maiden call to Beijing.

From mid-April to early June, Queen Elizabeth will spend time in Japan with five nine-night and one seven-night roundtrip voyages and from Yokohama. The nine-night voyages will highlight the multi-faceted nature and deep cultural roots of Japan's main islands of Honshu, Kyushu and Hokkaido, as well as a southern Islands voyage that includes islands in the Okinawa archipelago and two Taiwanese port calls. These voyages are timed to take in the spectacular spring blooms across the region. The seven-night itinerary coincides with Golden week which is one of Japan's most popular holiday seasons.

Queen Elizabeth's 2022 deployment features:

• Grand Voyages, by Cunard and Regions, by Cunard.

• 59 voyage combinations ranging from two to 39 nights

• Over 48,000 nautical miles

• 54 ports in 14 countries

• Nine maiden calls in Eden, Australia; Port Vila and Luganville, Vanuatu; Lautoka and Suva, Fiji; Noumea, New Caledonia; Beijing, China; Beppu and Sasebo, Japan

• Overnight stays in Auckland, Hobart, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing

• Scenic cruising in Fiordland National Park and Marlborough Sound, New Zealand

• 27 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Princess Cruises Adds Sixth Ship to Europe 2021 Lineup
Princess Cruises today announced the addition of the 670-guest Pacific Princess to the Europe 2021 season. Pacific Princess will sail for 41 days from Tokyo to Rome in May 2021, to start a season of new 12-day Mediterranean voyages, sailing between Venice and Rome.

Highlights of the May through October 2021 season include:

• 12-day Mediterranean Connoisseur voyages sailing from Rome to Venice with port visits in the Western Mediterranean, including Portofino and Monte Carlo, as well as sailing the Adriatic Sea visiting Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia and an overnight in Venice. These voyages also feature a maiden port call to Giardini Naxos on the island of Sicily.

• 12-day Greek Isles Connoisseur voyages feature the Grecian ports of Athens, Mykonos, Crete and Santorini, as well as the Western Mediterranean including Sorrento for Capri & Pompeii and Catania on the island of Sicily. These cruises also include an overnight in Venice.

• 12-day Mediterranean sailings can be combined for 24-day Grand Mediterranean Connoisseur voyages, which sail roundtrip from Venice or Rome.

• 41-day Mediterranean & Grand Asia Adventure will sail from Tokyo to Rome and includes stops in many countries including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Jordan. This voyage also includes a maiden call to Khasab, Oman, known for its desert fjords.

All Pacific Princess Europe 2021 voyages go on sale December 18, 2019.

The small-ship experience found onboard Pacific Princess offers a refined elegance, yet with many of the wonderful amenities found on larger ships. The ship provides guests an intimate camaraderie, sharing a passion for travel, while visiting unique ports only smaller ships can access.

With the addition of Pacific Princess, six total ships now offer the best of Europe in 2021, including the cruise line's two newest ships, Enchanted Princess and Sky Princess, with voyages to the Mediterranean, British Isles and Scandinavia & Russia. With voyages from four to 34 days on five MedallionClass ships, guests can visit treasured landmarks and let local experts guide the way with foodie-friendly and art-centric tours. More details on the previously announced 2021 Europe season can be found here.

Holland America Line's Noordam Returns To Service With Upgrades Throughout
When Holland America Line's Noordam recently sailed for Australia following a scheduled 14-day dry dock at Victoria Shipyards in Victoria, British Columbia, the ship had received a refresh and several upgrades as part of Carnival said that it 's continued efforts to roll out its latest and most popular experiences across their fleet.

The most notable new additions are Billboard Onboard to the Music Walk area, Microsoft Studio in the Explorations Café and Fujifilm Wonder Photo Shop where guests can create mementos from their photos. In addition, suites were refreshed with new soft goods, furniture and bathrooms.

Other areas receiving extensive enhancements were Pinnacle Grill, Pinnacle Bar, The Greenhouse Spa & Salon, the Dining Room and Lido Market. A pickleball court was also added to the sports court area.

"Noordam looks better than ever with sleek upgrades, fresh décor and the addition of new spaces like the popular Billboard Onboard, which receives rave reviews from guests," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "We are always investing in our ships and onboard amenities and offerings to ensure that guests enjoy the latest and greatest experiences, particularly in the area of authentic music, as we are known for having the best live music at sea."

Music Walk Expands with Billboard Onboard
Noordam guests have more live music options than ever before with the addition of Billboard Onboard, which joins the wildly popular B.B. King's Blues Club and Lincoln Center Stage in the Music Walk area. Billboard Onboard — in partnership with Billboard, the leading global destination for charts, news, trends and innovation in music — features the talents of two pianists playing 50 years of chart-topping hits.

Suite Accommodations Were Fully Refurbished
Noordam suites received the same upgrades that are rolling out on the line's Signature- and Vista-class ships. The main living area in each suite was refreshed with new furniture, carpet, headboard and stone desktops and soft goods. Electronic upgrades included a new USB outlet added to the bed's headboard, bedside LED reading lights, upgraded electrical outlets and a lighted closet rod. Suite bathrooms received designer glass tile and a new vanity area.

All staterooms received new verandah furniture, and new sofa beds were installed in staterooms with that sleep option.

New Interactive TV with On-Demand Movies A new interactive television system was installed in all suites and staterooms, featuring large, LED flat-screen TVs with complimentary movies and TV shows on demand as well as easy access to the daily program and shipboard information including restaurant overviews, spa services and account status.

Fujifilm Wonder Photo Shop
Guests can now create unique photo mementos and gifts at the new Fujifilm Wonder Photo Shop. Using photos taken by guests or the shipboard photographer, the new Fujifilm Wonder Photo Shop makes it easy to design mounted 3-D photos, keepsake boxes, metal panel prints and more.

Upgrades to dining venues, bars, lounges and other public areas include:

• Microsoft Studio was redesigned and added to Explorations Café, which received other upgrades. Now Microsoft Studio offers a new list of complimentary classes with all-new computer equipment.

• Pinnacle Grill and the Pinnacle Bar have a fresh look with new furniture, carpet and design details.

• Guests looking for a bit of pampering can indulge in upgraded treatment rooms, new massage beds, barber chairs, pedicure thrones and an enhanced hydropool at The Greenhouse Spa & Salon, while fitness enthusiasts will appreciate upgraded gym equipment and floors.

• The Dining Room received new furniture, carpet and soft goods; new chairs and tabletops were installed in Lido Market; and the Neptune Lounge has new furniture, carpet and a bar.

• Gamers can look forward to playing new slot machines and tables at the Casino.

• The Sports Court added lines for a pickleball court so guests can enjoy a fun and fast-paced racquet sport.

Next summer Noordam will head to Alaska, sailing 7-day Glacier Discovery cruises northbound from Vancouver B.C. and southbound from Seward (Anchorage). An in-depth Land + Sea journey can be added to Noordam sailings for those guests who want to explore the interior of The Great Land, including the must-see Denali National Park.

Princess Cruises Announces 2021 Japan Season
Princess Cruises announced its remaining 2021 Japan sailings, offerings guests an authentic immersion in the deep history, captivating culture and signature cuisines of this region. Rounding out the 2021 season, Diamond Princess sails on the cruise line's longest Japan season yet from March 2021 through December 2021, providing more opportunities than ever to see the beauty of spring flowers and participate in exciting festivals.

"The 2021 Japan season gives our guests the opportunity to travel to extraordinary, intriguing destinations all around this beautiful island nation," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "From our expertly curated itineraries to our exclusive Local Connections shore excursions program, we provide our guests with a convenient and meaningful way to connect to the local culture."

On sale December 18, 2019, Japan guests can choose from 48 itineraries, ranging in length from four to 19 days, visiting four countries and 44 destinations, including:

• Spring Flowers Cruises

• Festival Cruises

• Fall Foliage Cruises

• Circle Hokkaido Cruises

• Circle Japan Cruises

• Southern Islands and Taiwan Cruises

• Getaway Cruises

Departure ports include Tokyo (Yokohama) and Kobe.

The upcoming 2021 season offers more opportunities to visit local festivals than ever before with eight festivals across six voyages, including the introduction of the Osaka Danjiri Festival on a Japan Explorer cruise and the return of the popular Northern Japan with Nebuta Festival. Guests can also enjoy five Spring Flowers cruise options with hand-crafted itineraries, moving from south to north according to the predicted blooming season. Guests can also witness the changing colors of the Japanese maple and gingko trees, with cruises sailing from north to south according to the predicted autumn foliage season.

Plus, Diamond Princess will visit five new ports this season: Ube, Hitachinaka (for Nikko), Shimonoseki, Omaezaki and Jeju.

The 2021 cruises give guests the opportunity to visit 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These include:

• Mount Fuji

• Ancient Kyoto

• Buddhist monuments in the Horyu-ji area

• Shrines and temples of Nikko

• Historic villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama

• Hiroshima Peace Memorial

• Cultural Immersion

• Tranquil temple gardens, beautiful landscapes, sumptuous Japanese flavors both ashore and onboard connect guests to local daily life. With a new Local Connections shore excursion program in Japan was designed to provide guests the most personal, meaningful, authentic and exclusive experiences ashore by offering them a first-hand glimpse into the local food, beverage, arts and culture scene with 29 new tours in 19

The cruise line's More Ashore program offers late-night stays in Akita, Aomori, Busan, Hakodate, Hong Kong, Kobe, Kochi, Osaka, Tokushima and Wakayama.

Guests looking to spend more time in Tokyo and Kyoto can add five days on land exploring more of the country's contrast of ancient traditions and modern technology before the start of their cruise for a Highlights of Japan Cruisetour. Guests can enjoy sightseeing at Nijo Castle and the famed Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion) or immerse themselves in the history of Nara with the Great Buddha of Todaiji Temple and Kasuga Taisha Shrine while en route to the bullet train for Tokyo. After experiencing central Tokyo, explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Mt. Fuji with stunning views from Togendai and Lake Ashi.

Built in Japan at Mitsubishi Shipyard in Nagasaki, the 2,706-guest Diamond Princess includes distinctly Japanese offerings, including authentic sushi served at Kai Sushi, the largest Japanese-style open-air bath at sea, folkloric shows and regional entertainment.

Carnival Corporation Joins Getting to Zero Coalition for Zero Emission Operations
Carnival Corporation today announced it has joined the Getting to Zero Coalition, an alliance of organizations across the maritime, energy, infrastructure and finance sectors committed to accelerating the decarbonization of the international shipping industry. Carnival Corporation, with nine global cruise line brands, is the first cruise company to join the global alliance.

The coalition's goal aligns with the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping by at least 50% by 2050 as compared to 2008 emissions. To meet the target, the Getting to Zero Coalition aspires to having technically feasible, commercially viable zero emission deep sea vessels (ZEVs) entering the global shipping fleet as early as 2030. The alliance's ambition also includes scalable infrastructure for zero-carbon energy sources, including production, distribution, storage and bunkering.

Supported by key governments and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), the coalition represents a leading group of over 80 companies, including global stakeholders from a variety of shipping-related industries such as fuel suppliers, engine manufacturers, marine classification societies, shipping companies, major ports and more.

"We look forward to working with fellow coalition partners in the maritime, energy and other related industries, as well as academics, think tanks and policymakers, to develop a roadmap that identifies the technologies, investments and actions we must pursue to begin introducing zero emission vessels into the global shipping and passenger fleet," said Tom Strang, senior vice president of maritime affairs for Carnival Corporation. "Across our nine brands, we host more than 12 million guests every year and visit over 700 ports of call around the world. The health and vitality of our oceans and seas, along with the hundreds of communities we visit across the globe, are absolutely essential to our business. We have a deep commitment to safety, environmental responsibility and consistently exceeding guest expectations, and being an active part of the Getting to Zero Coalition is another important step for the environment."

Launched at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in September 2019, the Getting to Zero Coalition is a partnership among the Global Maritime Forum, the Friends of Ocean Action and the World Economic Forum. It builds on the call to action in support of decarbonization launched in October 2018 at the Global Maritime Forum and signed by more than 70 companies from across the maritime industry, financial institutions and other stakeholders, as well as on the Poseidon Principles – a global framework for climate-aligned ship financing – launched in June 2019.

Carnival Corporation and its nine cruise line brands are committed to developing innovative solutions that support sustainability and environmentally friendly operations, as part of a broader corporate strategy that includes its commitment to further improve environmental compliance and performance. In 2017, Carnival said that it achieved its 25% carbon reduction goal three years ahead of schedule, and is on track with its nine other 2020 sustainability targets for reducing its environmental footprint while enhancing the health, safety and security of its guests and crew members, and ensuring sustainable business practices among its brands, partners and suppliers.

As part of its strategic plan for carbon footprint reduction, Carnival said that it also leads the cruise industry's use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to power cruise ships, with a total of 11 next-generation cruise ships joining the fleet through 2025. Using Carnival said that it 's innovative environmental design, these new ships powered by LNG, the industry's most advanced fuel technology, eliminate sulfur and significantly improve overall air emissions. Carnival Corporation launched the world's first cruise ship powered by LNG, AIDAnova, in late 2018, followed by a second LNG ship, Costa Smeralda, earlier this month.

Carnival Corporation is also pioneering the use of Advanced Air Quality Systems, often referred to as exhaust gas cleaning systems, or "scrubbers." As of July 2019, Advanced Air Quality Systems have been installed on more than 70% of Carnival said that it 's fleet. The systems remove almost all of sulfur oxide emissions, 75% of all particulate matter and reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.

In addition, over 40% of Carnival said that it 's fleet has "cold ironing" capabilities, enabling ships to use shoreside electric power where available while in port. The company has also implemented broad initiatives to optimize onboard energy use, and innovative hull designs and coatings to reduce fuel consumption by minimizing frictional drag.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 46.99 + 3.48%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 126.20 + 3.60%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.70 + 1.45%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 55.22 + 0.66%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the two 14,000 ton sister ships that entered service for Cunard in 1971 & 1972 and were replaced in 1976 & 1977.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the inspiration for the distinctive funnel paint job on the ships of Carnival Cruise Line?

Answer - The ship had been previously owned by Canadian Pacific, and Carnival short on money only slightly altered the Canadian Pacific funnel logo.
courtesy of B. A. McKenzie


Cruise News - December 9, 2019

Princess Cruises Celebrates the Women of NASA at Dedication Ceremony Naming New Sky Princess
Princess Cruises christened its newest ship, Sky Princess today in a moving tribute to the pioneering women of the U.S. Space Program who represent crowning achievements in science, research and technology through innovation and their desire to explore the far reaches of the sky.

Princess Cruises chose the theme of Reach for the Sky for the occasion, and honored two women of NASA for their achievements in the U.S. space program: Captain Kay Hire, and engineer Poppy Northcutt, who served as the godmothers of Sky Princess.

Captain Hire began her 30-year NASA career as a mechanical systems engineer, helping to launch more than 40 space missions. Then, as an astronaut, she logged 700 hours in space, flew over 12 million miles, and orbited the earth 475 times. She was the first female assigned to a military combat flight crew while serving in the U.S. Navy. And, she retired from the U.S. Navy with more 35 years of service. Poppy Northcutt served as the first female mission control engineer when NASA made history with its mission to the moon. When the crew of Apollo 13 became stranded in their service module, it was her team's calculations that brought them home safely – a feat of heroism that earned the entire mission operations a Presidential Medal of Freedom Team Award.

"As we celebrate our newest, most technologically advanced ship – one whose spirit of adventure and discovery match the grandeur of her name, Sky Princess, we also applaud the groundbreaking women of the U.S. Space Program." said Princess Cruises President Jan Swartz. "Our godmothers, Captain Kay Hire and Poppy Northcutt, remind us all of what we can achieve when we reach for the sky."

Sky Princess Captain Heikki Laakkonen also recognized two Sky Princess female officers who embody the Reach for the Sky theme, striving for success in leadership positions –Kerry Ann Wright, who started working in the cruise industry as a spa technician and went back to school to rise through the ranks to become a Second Officer working on the bridge; and Chief Security Officer Susan Morgan, who is the longest serving woman in the British Royal Navy.

Captain Hire and Poppy Northcutt, recited the traditional cruise ship blessing before pushing a NASA-style "launch" button releasing and smashing a 15-liter bottle of champagne, officially naming Sky Princess.

Additional women of NASA recognized for their unwavering quest to Reach for the Sky in a tribute video, included:

• The first woman of color to travel to outer space Dr. Mae Jemison.

• The first Hispanic woman in space who later became Director of the Johnson Space Center Dr. Ellen Ochoa.

• The first woman to command the Space Shuttle Eileen Collins.

• The first woman to command the International Space Stations Peggy Whiston.

• The first woman to join a spacewalk Kathryn D. Sullivan.

The ceremony featured star-studded entertainment adding to the exciting bottle break moment, including Princess Cruises Celebrations Ambassador and Love Boat actress Jill Whelan, serving as ceremony co-host with Sky Princess Cruise Director Alexander Yepremian; and a performance of Dream On from America's Got Talent Alum Brian Justin Crum. The finale of the naming ceremony included a performance of This is Me from The Greatest Showman and featured in the cruise line's new production show Rock Opera.

Sky Princess, recently completed her inaugural season in Europe and is now sailing on voyages to the Caribbean through spring 2020. Representing an evolution of the design platform used for her sister Royal-Class ships - Regal Princess, Royal Princess and Majestic Princess - the 143,700-ton, 3,660-guest Sky Princess offers an elevation of spectacular style and elegance that Princess is known for, in addition to new distinct features.

Introduced on Sky Princess are new luxury Sky Suites boasting expansive views from the largest balconies at sea. In addition, two new entertainment experiences are offered - Phantom Bridge, a world's first game combining digital and physical elements for the ultimate immersive escape room, and Take Five, the only jazz theater at sea, celebrating the iconic sounds, culture and history of jazz.

The debut of Sky Princess marks the first MedallionClass new build. Powered by the OceanMedallion, the global hospitality industry's most advanced wearable device, MedallionClass vacations deliver a new level of service for a vacation that is more seamless, effortless and personalized. Considered a breakthrough in the vacation industry and a CES 2019 Innovation Award Honoree, the complimentary OceanMedallion features leading-edge technology that delivers personalized service through enhanced guest-crew interactions, while eliminating friction points and enabling interactive entertainment.

The Princess Cruises fleet continues to expand with Enchanted Princess in June 2020, Discovery Princess in November 2021 and two new (LNG) ships in 2023 and 2025.

Costa Cruises Welcomes LNG-Powered Costa Smeralda to Fleet
Costa Cruises officially took delivery today of Costa Smeralda, the brand's first ship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the marine industry's most advanced fuel technology.

The handover ceremony was held at the Meyer shipyard in Turku, Finland, where the brand's new flagship was built. Costa Smeralda becomes Carnival Corporation's fourth new ship of 2019 and its second LNG-powered ship.

Costa Smeralda is the first of two new sister ships for Costa Cruises that can be powered in port and at sea by LNG. The second vessel, Costa Toscana, is currently under construction at Meyer Turku and scheduled to be delivered in 2021.

In total, following the delivery of Costa Smeralda today and the launch of AIDAnova at the end of 2018 as the world's first cruise vessel to be powered by LNG, Carnival Corporation has an additional nine next-generation LNG-powered cruise ships on order using Carnival said that it 's innovative environmental design, with expected delivery dates for these new ships between 2020 and 2025.

The introduction of LNG to power cruise ships is a major development that supports Carnival said that it 's environmental goals and significantly improves overall air emissions with the virtual elimination of sulfur dioxide emissions (zero emissions) and a 95 to 100% reduction in particulate matter. The use of LNG also significantly reduces emissions of nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide.

"Costa Smeralda will be a further boost to the use of LNG in cruise ships, a technology our company has pioneered in the cruise sector," said Neil Palomba, president of Costa Cruises, which has represented Italian style and hospitality for more than 70 years. "It is an exciting evolution in maritime transport, as it guarantees a significant reduction in our environmental impact."

Palomba added: "Costa Smeralda is a significant product innovation as well, with Italian hospitality remaining a fundamental and distinctive element of our brand, able to enchant and excite not only new cruise passengers but also more experienced ones."

In addition to the innovative use of LNG, Costa Smeralda incorporates a series of cutting-edge technological innovations designed to further support environmentally friendly operations. For example, using onboard desalination systems, Costa Smeralda sources its daily water requirement directly from the sea. The ship also implements broad initiatives to minimize energy consumption, including LED lights, the ability to recover heat generated by the engines, an innovative hull design to significantly reduce frictional drag, and elevators that recover energy by regenerating it into the electricity system.

Single-use plastic products, which have been eliminated from Costa Cruises ships for most catering purposes and replaced with alternative materials, will gradually be reduced well in advance of the upcoming European Parliament directives regarding single-use plastics reduction requirements. Additionally, fully separated waste collection and recycling of materials, including plastic, paper, glass and aluminum, will be part of an integrated approach designed to support circular economy projects.

The brand's 4GOODFOOD program dedicated to reducing food waste and recovering surpluses for social purposes will also be implemented on Costa Smeralda. The new ship will feature the innovations of the LAB – Laboratorio del Gusto Restaurant – which takes an entertaining approach to involving guests in food sustainability.

Named to honor the spectacular Emerald Coast of Sardinia, Costa Smeralda is the result of a unique creative project led by hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany, created to immerse guests in experiencing Italy's finest all in one place. Tihany relied on an international pool of four top architecture firms, commissioned to design the various areas of the ship. All of the furnishings, lighting, fabrics and accessories are made in Italy, including many designed specifically for Costa Smeralda by 15 partners representing Italian excellence.

Italian design also stars in the CoDe - Costa Design Museum, the first museum created on a cruise ship. Costa Smeralda also features the Solemio spa; various entertainment areas, including the Colosseum featuring screens designed for high-tech content shows; themed bars in collaboration with major Italian brands; and 16 restaurants and "food experience" areas, including a new restaurant for families with children.

Costa Smeralda is scheduled to depart Turku shipyard in Finland on December 6 for the Mediterranean, where it will be refueled with LNG in Barcelona on December 18, followed by calls to Marseille on December 19 and Savona on December 20, as part of three presentations with travel agents. On December 21, Costa Smeralda will depart Savona for its maiden voyage, a weeklong cruise calling on Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Civitavecchia and La Spezia.

Seabourn Introduces New "Bow Lounge"
Seabourn will open a window on the majesty of nature for guests of its new purpose-built expedition ship, Seabourn Venture, which is set to sail to the world's most coveted and remote destinations beginning in June 2021. The Bow Lounge is designed to further enhance the perspectives that the natural world presents, increasing the sense of discovery that is sure to captivate guests by bringing a view of the outside inside combined with direct access to the outdoors.

Located on Deck 6, at the forward-most part of the vessel, the Bow Lounge will provide the closest access to water level via the foredeck, making it the perfect spot for guests to spend some time watching for marine life. Within a few steps, guests can be outside, with a vantage point that is ideal to watch the ship's course, spot wildlife, or take in the beautiful natural scenery.

As envisioned by renowned designer Adam D. Tihany, the creative design eye behind the new vessels, the Bow Lounge will introduce some technological enhancements, providing guests with a first for Seabourn with touch screens showing the ship's plotted location, as well as navigational charts and scientific information used to help guide the ship on its journey. Large screens will project live footage from mounted cameras outside the ship, and from a drone when conditions permit, while the touch screen monitors invite guests to explore on their own with a live map, weather information, and notes detailing upcoming expeditions. Expedition Team members will be available within the Lounge throughout the day to interact with guests, answer questions, provide interpretation and aid in spotting wildlife.

The space will also provide direct access to the Bow Sprit on Deck 6 forward (when conditions permit) to give guests the sensation of standing in front of the ship and views of waves parting and ice sloughing off the bow at the waterline.

"While we can't put Seabourn guests in the captain's chair on the bridge, the Bow Lounge helps guests feel like they are part of the action because of the position at the very front of the ship along with information like maps and charts displayed on touch screens," said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. "The lounge is one of those unique features that will set Seabourn Venture apart from most expedition vessels, where guests can quickly walk outside to spot natural features or wildlife as they learn from the expedition team, while illuminating and invigorating the experience by getting them as close as possible to the world outside."

Thoughtfully designed in deep blue and orange hues, the Bow Lounge features rhythmic architectural lighting panels that balance the space and contribute to the feeling of a control center laid out for full access by guests. Wood and metal patchwork wall panels will reflect the angular motif of the custom carpet and reintroduce a handcrafted sensibility into one of the more technical and engaging guest spaces onboard.

The "Pantry in the Bow Lounge," one of eight dining experiences on Seabourn expedition ships, will allow guests to help themselves to freshly prepared light fare and refreshments as they scan the horizon and socialize with others onboard.

Each new ultra-luxury expedition ship will feature 132 luxurious oceanfront veranda suites. Renderings of the new ships, suites and public spaces of the ship can be found in the link here. More details about the expedition ships will continue to be revealed in the coming months. Itineraries for the first season of travel aboard Seabourn Venture are now open for booking on the Seabourn website. The second sister ship is set to launch in May 2022.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Announces Christie Brinkley Will Serve As Godmother To Seven Seas Splendor
She's a world-famous supermodel, glamorous actress, proud mother and successful entrepreneur – and now will be recognized as Godmother to the cruise ship that perfects luxury.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises, the world's leading luxury ocean cruise line, today announced that Christie Brinkley's latest role is an honor, serving as Godmother to Seven Seas Splendor. A centuries-old maritime tradition, a ship's Godmother christens the vessel and is responsible for bestowing good luck over the ship and to all guests and crew who sail her. Brinkley will christen Seven Seas Splendor in Miami on February 21, 2020.

"Christie Brinkley is a universally beloved icon who is synonymous worldwide for her beauty, style and commitment to health and happiness," said Jason Montague, president and chief executive officer of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. "It's fitting that the Godmother of Seven Seas Splendor reflects timeless elegance, vitality and sophistication, as Regent has perfected all the details of luxury onboard Seven Seas Splendor. We are deeply honored that Christie will christen our newest ship and delighted to welcome her to the Regent Seven Seas Cruises family."

Brinkley is excited to serve as Godmother to Seven Seas Splendor, a spacious yet intimate ship with 542 crew caring for 750 guests.

"We learn best about the beautiful world around us by exploring new cities, immersing ourselves in different cultures and interacting with the gracious people who live there," Brinkley says. "We cherish and remember these moments more when we experience them with the people we love. The absolute most invigorating and luxurious way to travel the world is by cruising the seas."

"As a woman who strives to inspire other females to achieve their career and personal aspirations, I'm especially proud to be Godmother of the first new cruise ship in maritime history to be captained by a female, the trailblazing Captain Serena Melani," Brinkley said.

Like Brinkley, Seven Seas Splendor is vibrant and beautiful. Currently being built in Ancona, Italy, Seven Seas Splendor will offer her 750 guests the most luxurious accommodations as she sails to the world's iconic destinations and less-familiar hidden gems.

The all-suite, all-balcony ship is a work of art, from bow to stern, perfecting uncompromised luxury with elegance, comfort and personalized guest service. More than 46,000 square-feet of Italian marble will adorn Seven Seas Splendor – over an acre of marble – and her 375 suites include nearly 52,000 square-feet of balcony space – among the largest balconies at sea. The beautifully appointed suites range from the 307 square-foot Veranda Suite to the lavish 4,443 square-foot Regent Suite.

The Regent Suite sets the tone for Seven Seas Splendor's 14 other astonishing suite categories in offering the most luxurious accommodations at sea. It features the ultimate comfort of a $200,000 Hästens Vividus custom handmade mattress, an in-suite spa retreat featuring a personal sauna, steam room and treatment area with unlimited spa treatments, unobstructed 270-degree views over Seven Seas Splendor's bow from the 1,300 square-foot wraparound veranda, and a glass-enclosed solarium sitting area on top of the bridge for a Captain's view to see the world's most beautiful destinations. Guests in the Regent Suite also enjoy first-class air accommodations, a dedicated personal butler to manage all the details of the guests' experience, and a personal car with driver and guide in every port.

Seven Seas Splendor will feature a multi-million-dollar art collection, a Culinary Arts Kitchen with 18 stations for hands-on gourmet cooking demonstrations presented by master chef instructors, and Serene Spa & Wellness, a new globally inspired spa brand created for Seven Seas Splendor offering exclusive treatments that integrate techniques and ingredients from destinations around the world to soothe both the body and mind.

The ship's exquisite restaurants include Compass Rose, the largest specialty restaurant at sea; Pacific Rim, a dramatic Pan-Asian restaurant with a mythical dragon greeting guests; Prime 7, an intimate and elegant steakhouse; Chartreuse, featuring classic French fare with a modern twist; and Sette Mari at La Veranda, serving guests authentic Italian specialties and featuring stunning, over-water alcove seating that jets out over the ocean for an even closer connection to the sea, surrounded on three sides by inspiring, magnificent views.

"Wherever you turn on Seven Seas Splendor, you will be surrounded by elegance, comfort and hospitality," Montague said. "Every detail has been thoughtfully considered to create a ship that perfects luxury."

During her inaugural 2020 season, Seven Seas Splendor will sail the Caribbean and Mediterranean, helmed by 30-year veteran Captain Serena Melani.

Azamara Reveals Destinations to Sail to Now, Next Year, and In the Future
Azamara, the boutique cruise line dedicated to Destination Immersion, announces the brand's recommended voyages for travelers looking to sail now, next year, and in 2021/2022, highlighting a holiday voyage, 2020 maiden ports, and 27 new sailings for 2021 and Winter/Spring 2022.

Where to Sail Now, a Holiday Voyage Not to Miss:
Travelers can add an extra dimension of destination immersion to their travels by joining one of Azamara's 15-Night New Year's Eve in Rio Voyage, setting sail December 21, 2019. Azamara Pursuit will depart from Buenos Aires for Montevideo, where guests will experience an overnight in the destination before venturing to São Paulo and Ilhabela, where guests will have the opportunity to spend late nights in both destinations. Additional highlights include Paraty, where guests will have the opportunity to tour Cachaca distillery – home to the national liquor of Brazil – and Buzios, a small fishing village that was originally settled by European pirates and slave traders. To ring in the New Year, Azamara is bringing guests to Rio De Janeiro, where excursions range from joining a professional photographer through the street of Rio to capture the beauty of the destination and then to the heart of all the festivities on Copacabana Beach to ring in 2020 with fireworks and explosions of color and light.

Voyages to Book Next Year – 2020 Maiden Ports:
In 2020, Azamara will be taking its fleet, for the first time, to 41 maiden ports across the world. Starting off the year in paradise, travelers on the 15-Night Tahiti & New Zealand Voyage will visit Bora Bora, French Polynesia, which grants the opportunity for ocean-lovers to experience a Aquasafari Underwater Walk amongst colorful coral reef and marine life. With a variety of experiences, other new destinations include Abardeen, Scotland, where guests on the 11-Night Scotland Intensive Voyage can participate in a "Castle Crawl" to the areas collection of fortresses, including Craigievar Castle and Drum Castle. Further up north, passengers on the 13-Night Iceland Intensive Voyage will stop in Husavik, Iceland and visit the famous Whale Museum, where they will learn about the history, habits, and ongoing conservation efforts to protect the local population. Switching continents, sun-seeking cruisers on the 22-Night Western Africa Journey can visit Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and make their way to the nearby former French Colonial Capital of Grand Bassam, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the National Costume Museum.

Looking Ahead – Sailings on the Horizon:
With the addition of 27 new itineraries to Azamara's 2021 and winter/spring 2022 sailings, the brand is taking exploration to new heights with over 140 overnight stays around the world to deepen traveler's discovery of destinations including Eastern Europe. For example, guests sailing on the 14-night Black Sea voyage, which departs on July 20, 2021, will uncover the ancient secrets of the region, which some believe is the site of the lost city of Atlantis. Kicking off in Athens – Europe's oldest city – travelers will journey to the Greco-Roman city of Ephesus, followed by a visit to the resort town of Varna, Bulgaria; Constanta, Romana; and opulent, Odessa, Ukraine. While in Odessa, guests can visit Shustov Cognac Museum to learn about its history and dynasty, wine making and distillation of spirits, followed by a tasting of four different brandies in the tasting room.

Viking Announces New Seine River Ships For 2020
Viking today announced new details about its 2020 river cruise season, which will see the addition of four new ships custom built to navigate the Seine River in the heart of Paris. Inspired by the design of the award-winning Viking Longships, the four new, identical vessels will debut in 2020; all will be deployed on Viking's popular eight-day Paris and the Heart of Normandy itinerary by 2021.

Hosting 168 guests in 84 staterooms, the new Seine Ships – Viking Fjorgyn, Viking Kari, Viking Radgrid and Viking Skaga – will be smaller than Viking Longships, but will feature many of the same popular features – including an Aquavit Terrace, a wide variety of stateroom choices and onboard solar panels, as well as Viking's signature Scandinavian design aesthetic. Designed specifically to navigate the Seine River, these four ships will dock in the center of Paris, adjacent to the Eiffel Tower.

"We have always had a strong vision for how to help guests explore the world in comfort. For 22 years, we have led the industry in defining what modern river cruising looks like for experienced travelers who have interests in history, art and culture," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "We continue to lead because we focus on the destination, and we continue to innovate for our guests, offering them new and different opportunities for learning – and opening doors around the world at places that may otherwise have been difficult to visit."

Sailing roundtrip from Paris, guests on Viking's Paris and the Heart of Normandy itinerary explore Giverny and visit the beautiful gardens and charming farmhouse where Claude Monet lived and worked; trace the footsteps of Joan of Arc in Rouen; walk hallowed ground at Normandy's American Military Cemetery and World War II beaches; and savor Normandy cuisine. This 8-day cruise along the Seine River celebrates history, art, food and customs in the country's most dazzling urbane and pastoral settings.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 45.41 + 2.07%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 121.82 + 2.24%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.69 - 6.76%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 54.86 + 3.22%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the inspiration for the distinctive funnel paint job on the ships of Carnival Cruise Line?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which Holland America ship was the central character in the the most successful large-scale marine rescue in peacetime history and what did she do to become a "star"?

Answer - It was the Prinsendam. Engine room caught fire on October 4, 1980 and all 529 people on board were rescured. The ship finally sank on October 11th.
courtesy of R. F. Weemer, Netherlands


Cruise News - December 2, 2019

Seabourn Celebrates Keel Laying For Its First Expedition Vessel
Seabourn celebrated the keel laying for Seabourn Venture during a ceremony held today at the T. Mariotti shipyard in San Giorgio di Nogaro, Italy. With Seabourn Venture scheduled to debut in June 2021, today's ceremony marks a significant milestone in the construction of the line's first ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ship.

"This milestone is always an exciting moment, as it represents another step forward in a new chapter of expedition cruising for Seabourn and our guests," said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. "I am incredibly proud of the way our fleet has continued to evolve and deliver over more than three decades of the finest cruise experience on the seas. As Seabourn Venture continues to take shape, we look forward to revealing more details and highlights of her progress over the months to come."

A second Seabourn expedition vessel, still to be named, is scheduled to launch in May 2022. Together, the ships will offer the best in expedition travel blended with ultra-luxury amenities and personalized service by leading travel experts and seasoned professionals with deep experience in expedition, hospitality, and ultra-luxury cruising. Both vessels are being built for diverse environments to PC6 Polar Class standards and will include an array of modern hardware and technology that will extend their global deployment and capabilities, including two custom-built submarines onboard each ship to provide passengers unforgettable views of the world beneath the ocean's surface.

"T. Mariotti's commitment and dedication to the construction of the first ultra-luxury expedition vessel for Seabourn is high and for this I would like to thank all those who have long been working on this ambitious project," says Marco Ghiglione, managing director of T. Mariotti. "After an intense design phase, this marks a new step forward in the process of building the ship, marking the result of a well-established collaboration with a major partner like Seabourn."

Renowned hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany is designing the public areas and all categories of the ship's 132 luxurious oceanfront veranda suites, including the first-ever two story Grand Wintergarden Suite, as well as a bespoke furniture collection for both expedition vessels. Renderings of a selection of these spaces can be found in the link here.

Seabourn continues to represent the pinnacle of ultra-luxury travel with intimate ships offering key elements that set the line apart: spacious, thoughtfully appointed suites, many with verandas and all 100% ocean front; superb dining in a choice of venues; complimentary premium spirits and fine wines available on board at all times; award-winning service and a relaxed, sociable atmosphere that makes guests feel right at home on board. The ships travel the globe to many of the world's most desirable destinations, including marquee cities, more than 170 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and lesser-known ports and hideaways.

Carnival Cruise Line Kicks Off Winter Cruises from San Diego
Carnival Cruise Line returned to the Port of San Diego this weekend to launch a winter schedule of three- to 15-day voyages aboard Carnival Miracle, marking the line’s first departure from the port in seven years.

The cruise schedule began yesterday with a seven-day sailing to the Mexican Riviera, and features a wide range of durations and destinations, including:

• three-day weekend getaways visiting Ensenada Dec. 27, 2019 and Jan. 3, 2020.

• five-day voyages departing Dec. 22, 2019, and Jan. 12, 2020, that spend two days in Cabo San Lucas.

• a four-day New Year’s Baja Mexico cruise featuring Catalina Island and Ensenada departing Dec. 30, 2019.

• A six-day cruise featuring two days in Cabo San Lucas and a day-long visit to Ensenada departing Jan. 6, 2020.

• Three longer-length Carnival Journeys adventures, including 14- and 15-day Hawaii cruises visiting popular destinations throughout the Aloha State departing Dec. 8, 2019 and Jan. 17, 2020, respectively, along with a 13-day Panama Canal sailing from San Diego to Miami Feb. 1-14, 2020 offering a unique opportunity to transit through the Panama Canal in addition to visiting exotic destinations in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Colombia.

Carnival Miracle features many of the line’s signature dining, entertainment and accommodations options, including guest favorites such as the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub and cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, a water park, specialty dining options, a comedy club, and a 14,500-square-foot spa.

“We’re delighted to return to the Port of San Diego to offer this diverse schedule of convenient and attractive voyages for our guests,” said Fred Stein, Carnival’s vice president of revenue, deployment and itinerary planning. “The West Coast is an important and fast-growing market for Carnival and these departures from San Diego provide guests a wide array of exciting cruise choices with stops along Baja Mexico, the Mexican Riviera and Hawaii.”

“The Port of San Diego is excited for the return of Carnival Cruise Line as part of our homeported cruise business,” said Garry Bonelli, chairman of the board of port commissioners. “We are proud to once again partner with Carnival and we welcome Carnival Miracle to our cruise lineup.”

Carnival Miracle will return to San Diego to operate another winter schedule in 2020-21.

Carnival Miracle’s San Diego-based schedules are part of the line’s West Coast expansion that also includes its first-ever program from San Francisco to Alaska, Hawaii and Baja Mexico as well as the arrival of Carnival Panorama which kicks off a year-round schedule from Long Beach Dec. 11 – Carnival said that it ’s first new cruise ship in Southern California in 20 years.

San Diego is an integral component of Carnival’s ship deployment strategy in which the line positions ships near large U.S. population bases along the East and West Coasts and the Gulf of Mexico. Including San Diego, Carnival sails from 19 North American homeports providing a cost-effective means for guests to get to and from their cruise. It’s estimated that roughly half of the U.S. population is within a day’s drive of a Carnival homeport.

Antarctica Bridge: Silversea Becomes First Cruise Line To Fly Guests Directly To Antarctica In Business-Class Comfort
Silversea Cruises announces a first in the ultra-luxury segment: a new fly-cruise service to Antarctica in business-class comfort, as part of the largest ever Antarctica offering in the cruise line's history. Named Antarctica Bridge, the new service will provide discerning travellers with the fastest, most direct route to the White Continent. Departing from December 2021, the collection of 12 fly-cruise voyages aboard Silver Explorer will further enhance Silversea's industry-leading, all-inclusive Polar offering. Sales for Antarctica Bridge open on December 10, 2019, and fares start from USD 17,500 per person, based on two sharing.

Enjoying direct flights from Chile's Punta Arenas to King George Island in Antarctica, travellers will fly 670 nm (1,240 km) over the Drake Passage on a private plane – reserved exclusively for Silversea's guests – that has been specially adapted to land on King George Island. Hosted by Silversea representatives and offering travellers the luxury of a business-class configuration, the flight will take just two hours each way, meaning guests will avoid approximately four days at sea on the return journey. A bespoke in-flight entertainment programme, which will include Zodiac and IAATO briefings, will be tailored entirely for Antarctic expeditions to prepare guests for the unique adventure ahead. Travellers will then spend five full days – the same amount of time as on Silversea's conventional Antarctica voyages – travelling deep into the destination, accompanied by Silversea's team of expedition experts.

"This is a defining moment for Silversea's expedition offering: Antarctica Bridge will revolutionise the way in which our guests discover Antarctica," says Conrad Combrink, Silversea's Senior Vice President of Tour Operating, Expedition & Destination Management. "The luxury of choice is a key feature of our cruise line's offering; our new Antarctica Bridge service expands our guests' choices. Many will still choose to cross the epic Drake Passage, which is an unforgettable experience in itself, but Antarctica Bridge is perfect for time-conscious travellers, as it will immerse guests into the White Continent in a shorter timeframe. This builds on our existing offering, which comprises many 10-day voyages, as well as 18-day expeditions and longer, which are the ultimate in deep exploration. With the launch of Antarctica Bridge, our guests will be able to choose from 59 Antarctica voyages."

Unlocking Antarctica in just nine nights for time-conscious travellers, Silversea's Antarctica Bridge itineraries are scheduled to comprise the following*:

• Day 1: Inbound international flight, via Santiago. Travellers have the choice of either inclusive economy-class air or reduced business-class air on their inbound international flight to Punta Arenas, Chile, as part of Silversea's ongoing air promo.

• Day 2: Pre-cruise hotel night in Punta Arenas. Ahead of flying to Antarctica, the cruise line's guests will spend a night at the elegant Hotel Cabo de Hornos in Punta Arenas. Here, they will receive their expedition kit, including rubber boots, parka, walking poles for the duration of the expedition, waterproof trousers, expedition backpacks and a water bottle. A dedicated Expedition Team will be on the ground prepare guests for the journey ahead.

• Day 3: Flight to King George Island (Antarctica). A first in the ultra-luxury cruise segment, travellers will fly to Antarctica in the equivalent of business-class comfort, saving two days at sea each way. Silversea's guests will land at the Chilean base of Presidente Frey, which is normally used by scientists as they journey to the island's research stations.

• Days 3-9: Antarctica Expedition aboard Silver Explorer. With five full days in Antarctica, guests will enjoy an unprecedented level of flexibility aboard Silver Explorer, and an enhanced scope to discover each destination. From King George Island, travellers will explore the same destinations as on Silversea's conventional Antarctica offering: Antarctic Sound, the Antarctic Peninsula over three days, and the South Shetland Islands, before returning to King George Island once more. Silversea's Expedition Team will guide Zodiac tours, shore experiences, kayaking tours, and provide lectures on the region's fascinating geology, wildlife and history to enrich the journey for guests. In addition to witnessing remarkable icebergs, guests will visit large penguin rookeries, and may see several species of seals, whales and birds.

• Day 9: Flight from Antarctica to Punta Arenas. Return in style and comfort on the 75-seat aircraft to Punta Arenas, accompanied by Silversea representatives.

• Day 9: Post-cruise hotel night in Punta Arenas. Spend a relaxed post-cruise hotel night at the Hotel Cabo de Hornos and explore Punta Arenas once more.

• Day 10: Outbound international flight. Fly home.

Aboard Silver Explorer, as on all Silversea vessels, travellers will benefit from Silversea's trademark level of service and luxury accommodations. Each of the ship's ocean-view suites provides guests with the personalised service of a butler; a 24-hour in-suite dining service; a bottle of champagne upon arrival and a drinks bar, stocked with guests' preferred beverages; fine dining, including complimentary caviar on demand, canapes, and a rich offering of seafood and steak; and an array of other inclusive amenities. Enlarged to 14 members for the 2021-2022 season, Silversea's Expedition Team will enrich guests' travels with insightful lectures, workshops, tours on the ship's enlarged fleet of 14 Zodiacs, kayak tours, and shore experiences.

What's Included in Silversea's New Fly-Cruise Offering?

• Roundtrip economy class air to Punta Arenas (Chile)

• Private flight to and from Antarctica (King George Island)

• One night pre-cruise and post-cruise hotel stay in Punta Arenas

• Expedition gear – parka, waterproof trousers, walking poles (rentals), rubber boots (rentals), expedition backpack and water bottle

• Welcome reception and bon voyage dinner (in Punta Arenas)

• Pre- and post-cruise meals

• Transfers between airport and hotel, and luggage handling, when guests take international air through Silversea Silversea's standard expedition inclusions, which comprise guided Zodiac tours and shore side activities, led by the Expedition Team; enrichment lectures; butler service for every suite; and many additional amenities.

*Please note: schedule is subject to change, based on a variety of external factors.

Norwegian Cruise Line Announces "Free the Beat" Songwriters Cruise
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel, has partnered with Kellie Pickler and Warner Chappell Music to host its second songwriters cruise through the brand’s “Free the Beat” program, a music platform through which the industry’s top songwriters, artists, talent and creators have the opportunity to develop content for Norwegian Cruise Line’s first-ever global music library.

This month, Pickler and seven songwriters from Warner Chappell Music will set sail from Honolulu, Oahu on a seven-day cruise to the islands of Hawaii on the only U.S.-flagged cruise ship, Pride of America.

“I am so excited to host Norwegian Cruise Line’s special songwriters cruise on Pride of America,” said Kellie Pickler, American country music artist. “I am always inspired by the places I visit, and on this trip, the other songwriters and I will have the beautiful Hawaiian Islands as our backdrop to inspire us on new songs! It’s going to be a really unique experience. I can’t wait!”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Norwegian Cruise Line to continue to build their brand music library,” said Katie Jelen, Director of Synchronization for Warner Chappell Music. “This collaboration allows us to extend a fun opportunity to our writers and help tell Norwegian’s brand story through the power of music.”

Songwriters include:

• Liz Rose known for “You Belong with Me” by Taylor Swift, “Cry Pretty” by Carrie Underwood, and “Girl Crush” by Little Big Town

• Abram Dean known for “Red Eye” by Andy Grammer and “Celebrate” by lunsford, which has been featured in a recent Norwegian Cruise Line advertising campaign

• Audra Mae known for “Little Red Wagon” by Miranda Lambert, “Heartbeat Song” by Kelly Clarkson and “Who I Was Born to Be” by Susan Boyle

• Mark Trussell known for “RSVP” by Maren Morris, “Details” by Billy Currington and “Beside you Babe” by Blake Shelton

• Kallie North known for “American Woman” by Muddy Magnolias, “Like It Or Not” by Willa J and “When I Get Going” by Kallico

• Brandon Day known for “Top Of The World” by the Plain White T’s, “Break it In” Eli Young Band and “Fire’t Up” by Brantley Gilbert

• Johnny Simmen known for producing the albums “The Fifth” by Birds of Bellwoods and “Beauty Fools” by The Naked Wild, as well as co-writing “Games” from the forthcoming Caitlyn Smith record

The songwriters will gain inspiration by experiencing everything this majestic archipelago has to offer, from the historical sites, to the waterfalls, volcanoes, beaches and the natural beauty of each destination, including Maui, Hilo, Kona, Kauai and the Na Pali Coast, all while writing songs for the cruise line’s global music library.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s goal is to encourage and enable songwriters to freely develop content to enhance the guests’ experiences through onboard curated playlists from the world’s most beautiful destinations that one can discover on and off the ship. During the cruise, they will have the opportunity to enjoy 15 restaurants, spacious suites and a family-fun packed itinerary from snorkeling to surfing lessons, a traditional luau, relaxing on Hawaii’s finest beaches and so much more.

In August 2019, Norwegian Cruise Line launched the ‘Free the Beat’ program and the brand’s first global music library. Multi-platinum recording artist and songwriter Andy Grammer hosted the first seven-day songwriters cruise to Alaska from Seattle with writers from Family Affair Productions. Content and music were inspired by the exploration of the Mendenhall Glacier, snorkeling among the marine life and experiencing Alaska’s native culture.

Carnival Line Becomes First Cruise Operator Certified 'Sensory Inclusive'
Expanding its commitment to making a cruise vacation more accessible for everyone, Carnival Cruise Line has become the first cruise operator to be certified "sensory inclusive" by KultureCity, a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to accessibility and inclusion for individuals with sensory needs and invisible disabilities.

The rollout of the program started in October and all of Carnival Cruise Line's South Florida-based ships are certified, with the balance of the fleet scheduled to be completed by March 2020.

As part of a comprehensive fleetwide training program, hundreds of guest-facing team members, including guest services personnel and youth staff, have been trained to understand and help adults, youth and children with sensory related questions or needs relating to conditions such as Autism, ADHD, Down syndrome, PTSD, etc.

In addition, KultureCity sensory bags are available for check out for the duration of the cruise and contain a variety of items to help calm, relax and manage sensory overload. Items include comfortable noise cancelling headphones (provided by Puro Sound Labs), fidget toys, and a visual feeling thermometer (produced in conjunction with Boardmaker), as well as a KultureCity VIP lanyard to help staff easily identify guests.

These measures have proven to be helpful in the more than 450 landside venues like stadiums, arenas and amusement parks that have partnered with KultureCity. Since the program has been implemented aboard the first wave of Carnival's ships, feedback from guests and their families has been overwhelmingly positive.

Once on board, guests should inquire at the Guest Services desk to inquire about borrowing a sensory bag and any other accommodations that are available.

Informational videos featuring actor Christopher Gorham, a member of the KultureCity board of directors, designed to create greater awareness among all guests, are playing on in-stateroom televisions on the line's six certified ships and will expand across the fleet as the program rolls out to other ships.

"Carnival Cruise Line and KultureCity share a heartfelt commitment to acceptance and inclusivity. Working together, all of our guests can maximize their enjoyment and be the truest versions of themselves during their time on board," said Vicky Rey, Carnival's vice president of guest care and communications and Carnival said that it 's ADA Responsibility Officer.

"We're proud and grateful to partner with Carnival Cruise Line, offering guests with sensory needs an opportunity to more fully enjoy their vacations and create wonderful memories with their friends, families and loved ones. We appreciate Carnival Cruise Line for taking this important step in making their vacations accessible to everyone," said Dr. Julian Maha, co-founder, KultureCity.

In addition to the KultureCity certification, Carnival will be the first cruise operator to complete an additional special needs certification program offered by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES).

The IBCCES program includes 17 continuing education units (CEUs) of training in a variety of special needs, such as Autism, Down Syndrome, mobility issues, and various other disabilities. Additionally, Carnival's youth staff have different resources on hand to help soothe, calm and entertain children participating in our youth programs, such as weighted vests, conversation cards, sensory games and other aids. Myron Pincomb, board chairman of IBCCES: "It has been a pleasure working with the Carnival team. Their unwavering passion to go above and beyond to create the best experience possible allows guests of all abilities to 'Choose Fun'." "Carnival Cruise Line is to be commended for training their staff about autism and offering sensory bags that will enable individuals with autism and their families to have an enjoyable cruise," Dr. Temple Grandin, a renowned autism advocate and author and one of the first individuals on the autism spectrum to document the insights she gained from her personal experience with autism. To obtain more information on the KultureCity program, please visit the Guests with Disabilities page on Carnival.com.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 44.49 - 0.02%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 119.15 - 0.23%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.74 - 6.33%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 53.15 - 1.52%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which Holland America ship was the central character in the the most successful large-scale marine rescue in peacetime history and what did she do to become a "star"?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which former cruise ship started her career running cruise/ferry service between New York and the Bahamas

Answer - The ship was the Island Escape (formerly Viking Serenade and Scandinavia). It used to sail as the Scandinavia when it sailed the New York/Bahamas route as a cruise/ferry.
courtesy of Dirk Heiningn


Cruise News - November 25, 2019

Norwegian Cruise Line Christens Newest Ship, Norwegian Encore, in Miami
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel with a nearly 53-year history of breaking boundaries, hosted a christening ceremony in Miami for its newest innovative ship, Norwegian Encore.

Over 3,500 guests consisting of travel partners, investors, government officials, media, and family and friends of Norwegian Cruise Line were invited to the pier-side ceremony and celebration at Port Miami. An interactive arrival experience indicative of the brand's commitment to world-class entertainment and innovative and meaningful experiences, encouraged attendees to share the moment and to make lasting memories.

During the ceremony, guests enjoyed a showcase of the Company's onboard entertainment, which included "Choir of Man" and the Tony Award-winning "Kinky Boots." Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings; Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line; and Harry Sommer, incoming president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line, welcomed attendees and spoke to the Company's history and commitment to Miami, the beauty of the new ship, her industry-leading amenities, and their gratitude for all those who ensure a memorable guest experience aboard Norwegian Encore.

"Norwegian Cruise Line has been sailing from Miami for over 50 years," said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. "We were the first to offer weekly cruises to the Caribbean from Miami, which shaped the city's reputation as the 'Cruise Capital of the World.' Five years ago, we launched our history-making Breakaway Plus class and today, we are proud to christen Norwegian Encore, the final ship of this class and a true representation of the evolution of the brand, right here in our hometown of Miami."

After the traditional blessings, honorary godmother and GRAMMY Award-winning artist, Kelly Clarkson, officially christened Norwegian Encore with the champagne bottle break across the ship's hull. Guests were then treated to a live performance of Clarkson's "Miss Independent," "Stronger," "Since U Been Gone," and other chart-topping hits.

This milestone marks the closing of the Company's most successful class of ships, the Breakaway Plus class, which first debuted in Miami with the introduction of Norwegian Escape in 2015. Norwegian Escape, Joy, Bliss and now Encore, have revolutionized the cruising industry with elevated experiences that include the world's only racetracks and open-air laser tag arenas; the most sophisticated gaming and virtual reality complexes; world-class entertainment that rivals anything on land; and new, creative culinary offerings.

Norwegian Encore will offer seven-day voyages to the Eastern Caribbean from Miami beginning Nov. 24, 2019; Bermuda, and Canada and New England itineraries from New York City beginning Apr. 22, 2020; and voyages to the Western Caribbean from Miami beginning Dec. 12, 2020. In the spring of 2021, she will make her West Coast debut and sail to Alaska from Seattle.

Oasis Of The Seas Now Sailing From Miami Following $165 Million Refit
Royal Caribbean International's Oasis of the Seas has made a splash in its return to South Florida with a $165 million new look. The original gamechanger debuts a thrilling combination of new Royal Caribbean experiences, including the cruise line's first barbecue restaurant, Portside BBQ; and guest favorites, from the tallest slide at sea–the Ultimate Abyss–to popular live music venue Music Hall, and a reimagined, Caribbean pool deck. Oasis is now sailing 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises from Miami before heading to the Big Apple in May 2020, where it will become the first of its kind and the largest cruise ship to sail from the area.

"To see a 63-day, $165 million effort come to life on a ship as iconic as Oasis of the Seas is remarkable," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Our guests–new and fans alike–are in for an Oasis that takes family vacations to the next level. With exciting, new adventures and signature experiences, this ship is every bit as original as the day she debuted 10 years ago, almost to the day."

Top Deck Thrills

• The Ultimate Abyss – A 10-story test of courage and the tallest slide at sea that twists and turns for the optimal thrill factor.

• The Perfect Storm – The action-packed trio of multistory waterslides known as Typhoon, Cyclone and Supercell punch up the level of excitement on the pool deck.

• A reimagined, Caribbean pool deck – With Splashaway Bay kids aquapark, signature poolside bar The Lime & Coconut, hammocks, casitas, in-pool loungers and live music, days and nights at sea take on a whole new meaning.

Palate Pleasing Dining

• Portside BBQ – Royal Caribbean's very first barbecue restaurant serves up an authentic, meat-packed menu inspired by the best-in-class barbecue across the United States.

• Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade – With 80 big-screen TVs, tabletop games, arcade classics, an Owner's Box VIP area, bar fare and ice-cold brews, Playmakers is where everyone in the family can enjoy themselves.

• Bionic Bar by Makr Shakr – A dynamic duo of robotic bartenders mans this guest-favorite venue.

• El Loco Fresh – Offering Mexican street fare to go, the casual spot's menu includes made-to-order tacos, burritos, quesadillas, mini salads and more.

• Sugar Beach – With more than 220 types of candy and a new walkup ice cream window, this is the sweetest spot on board.

Show-stopping Entertainment & Hot Spots

• Aqua80 – In the unparalleled AquaTheater, Oasis debuts a brand-new aqua show that sets jaw-dropping feats, high dives and acrobatics to iconic tunes from the 80s. Guests will take a spin back to a totally radical decade brought to life by extreme athletes and divers.

• One Sky – A new, full-scale production takes center stage in the Royal Theater. This Royal Caribbean original guides travelers through a journey of discovery with music and choreography that explores human connections.

• Spotlight Karaoke – The dedicated karaoke spot where budding singers can rock out to their favorite tunes at the venue's main stage or in one of two private rooms. Music Hall – The live music venue makes its Oasis Class debut with a roster of live cover bands, an expansive dance floor, a pool table and intimate lounge seating across two levels.

Family Adventures Await

• All-new Adventure Ocean – Featuring interactive, personalized and immersive experiences, the award-winning program's major makeover encourages young guests to choose their own adventures across an entirely new layout.

• Social298 – A 360-degree transformation debuts a new, maxed-out teens lounge with gaming consoles, music, movies, places to hang out and a new outdoor deck known as The Patio.

• Glow-in-the-dark laser tag – In Clash for the Crystal City, two teams on the brink of extinction– the Yetis and Snowshifters–go head to head to take control of the mythical ice city.

• Royal Escape Room – Mission Control: Apollo 18 – Guests walk into a replica of the original Apollo Mission Control Room, take their stations, and must maneuver a series of mind-bending puzzles to successfully launch Apollo 18.

The newly amplified Oasis also sets sail with the Royal Caribbean International mobile app. Guests can now check in for their cruise vacation from their phone, and once on board, enjoy a lineup of capabilities. With the easy-to-use digital stateroom key and in-app TV remote features, the ability to explore and plan activities for each day, and make dining, shore excursion and show reservations, travelers can seamlessly transition into vacation mode.

Oasis is the first of the cruise line's renowned Oasis Class–the world's largest cruise ships–to be modernized as part of the Royal Amplified fleet modernization effort. An investment of more than $1 billion, across 10 ships in four years, the program touches every facet of the guest experience on board.

Vanna White Selected As Godmother For New Carnival Panorama
Carnival Cruise Line – has selected one of the most popular television hostesses ever – Vanna White – as godmother for Carnival Panorama when she is officially named during its ceremony in Long Beach, Calif., on December 10.

"Vanna has been that welcoming face, cheering on and watching over Wheel of Fortune contestants for decades, and we love the fact that Vanna will be doing the same for Carnival Panorama, her guests and crew, as the ship's godmother," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "Every night, millions of Americans welcome Vanna into their homes. She is beloved. What other game show hostess has earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and has been inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame? And she's got the most famous wardrobe on television!"

"Carnival Cruise Line has been delivering fun and memorable vacations while taking great care of their guests for almost 50 years, and it is such an honor to be asked to be a part of the celebration of their newest ship coming to California," said White. "There is always so much excitement whenever we give away a Carnival cruise on the show. I can't wait to see the ship and to meet the crew in December."

Carnival Panorama departed from the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy on Nov. 1, and is en route to Long Beach for her naming ceremony on Dec. 10 and inaugural sailing Dec. 11. The vessel is the first new ship Carnival has deployed to the West Coast in 20 years, and is the third in Carnival's popular Vista Class, joining her sister ships Carnival Vista and Carnival Horizon.

Vanna and her colleague Pat Sajak are no strangers to Carnival Cruise Line. The Wheel of Fortune slot machines are popular attractions in the casinos across the Carnival fleet, and Pat and Vanna have been on board to tape segments for Wheel of Fortune as part of several successful cross-promotions between the brands over the years.

Over the course of her 37 years on Wheel of Fortune, Vanna has appeared in more than 7,000 episodes, cheering on contestants and dazzling in a new outfit each night. Her success has provided a foundation to help others in need. Combining her passion for crocheting and helping children, the Myrtle Beach, S.C. native launched her own line of yarn called "Vanna's Choice," with a portion of the proceeds benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, of which Carnival is a longtime supporter. vFollowing an inaugural three-day cruise, Carnival Panorama will launch year-round seven-day Mexican Riviera service from Long Beach, Calif., Dec. 14, departing every Saturday on week-long voyages to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas.

As the name implies, Carnival Panorama reflects design inspiration with more opportunities to connect with the sea. The ship features a number of innovations including the first Sky Zone trampoline park at sea as well as a first-in-fleet culinary studio where guests can participate in hands-on cooking classes, tastings and other food-related activities hosted by the ship's chefs.

Carnival Panorama also offers a variety of guest favorites such as a WaterWorks aqua park, Sky Ride, the popular bike in the sky with breathtaking views, a suspended ropes course and dining venues like Bonsai Teppanyaki and Guy's Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Brewhouse with barbecue favorites from Food Network star and Carnival partner Guy Fieri along with craft beers brewed on board.

A wide range of staterooms choices are available as well, including spa staterooms with exclusive privileges at the luxurious Cloud 9 Spa, extra-spacious staterooms in Family Harbor and tropical-inspired Havana staterooms with access to a Cuban-themed bar and pool.

Keel Laid For Holland America Line’s Ryndam
Holland America Line celebrated the keel laying of its new 2,668-passenger Ryndam Nov. 21, 2019, at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy. A 505-ton block, about 14 by 34 meters, was lowered by crane into the yard’s building dock, marking the official beginning of construction. The Pinnacle Class ship is scheduled for delivery in May 2021.

The event was attended by Keith Taylor, Holland America Group’s executive vice president, fleet operations, and Jan Koller, Holland America Line’s project manager, newbuilds. The block laid was one of 85 blocks in total that will make up the ship.

“The keel laying is an important construction milestone because it marks the moment when we can really start to watch the ship take shape and progress toward its launch in 18 months,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Adding Ryndam to our fleet will provide a new canvas for us to share our brand and enable us to show the world to even more cruisers.”

As the third in the series, Ryndam will feature the highly successful Pinnacle Class amenities and innovations including the 270-degree surround screen World Stage, Rudi’s Sel de Mer, Grand Dutch Cafe, Lincoln Center Stage, B.B. King’s Blues Club and Rolling Stone Rock Room. The ship’s design will be created by leading hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany and designer and architect Bjørn Storbraaten.

This is the 17th ship constructed for Holland America Line by Italian shipyard Fincantieri, which most recently built Pinnacle sister ship Nieuw Statendam. The cruise line began its relationship with Fincantieri in 1992 with the building of Statendam.

The first Ryndam was part of the Holland America Line fleet from 1901 to 1929, starting as Rijndam before receiving the English spelling in 1923. In 1927 Ryndam I became the first Holland America Line ship to sail a world cruise, although it was chartered as a floating school at sea for that voyage. The second Ryndam served from 1951 to 1973, and the third sailed in the fleet from 1993 through 2015, when it was transferred to sister brand P&O Australia and now cruises as Pacific Aria.

Seabourn Announces Destinations For Fall 2020 Through Spring 2021
Seabourn announced this week that it is offering travelers extraordinary worldwide itineraries scheduled from fall 2020 through spring 2021. The programming includes more than 60 unique sailings to hidden harbors, marquee ports, must-experience destinations, and some accessible only by smaller ships. Guests joining one of the voyages will visit at the ideal time, enjoying peak season weather, a wealth of experiences and will feel right at home with exceptional personalized and intuitive service, generous amenities, and all-inclusive unique experiences aboard the fleet of ultra-luxury Seabourn resorts at sea.

The three seasons from fall 2020 through spring 2021 will offer abundant opportunities for luxury travelers to see and explore new sights and exotic cultures. With voyages ranging from seven to 140 days, the line's award-winning ships will visit exotic destinations on all seven continents. The itineraries, fares and complete details of Seabourn's fall 2020 through spring 2021 schedule can be viewed at www.seabourn.com.

"Each year, we're busy leveraging our 30 plus years of experience to design enticing itineraries, layering them start-to-finish with engaging offerings and new and notable destinations for our guests to experience the world as only Seabourn can present it," said Chris Austin, senior vice president of Global Marketing & Sales for Seabourn. "These itineraries hold real excitement for first-time and returning guests alike as they explore remarkable destinations and memorable settings from the comforts of the world's best ultra-luxury resort at sea."

The Seabourn fleet is scheduled to visit a number of new and notable destinations through fall 2020 and winter and spring 2021. Seabourn Odyssey and Seabourn Sojourn will sail the Caribbean, seeking out highlights such as Soper's Hole, British Virgin Islands; Rodney Bay, St. Lucia; Charlestown, Nevis; and Iles des Saintes, a group of small islands in the archipelago of Guadeloupe. Guests en route from Athens to Dubai aboard Seabourn Encore will have opportunity to experience Haifa, Ashdod, Tel Aviv, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem in Israel; the Ruins of Petra in Aqaba (Jordan); and Seabourn's popular Caviar in the Surf and Beach BBQ event on Sir Bani Yas Island in the Al Gharbia region of United Arab Emirates. In Southeast Asia, Seabourn Ovation will offer one of the line's best overland programs from coastal Sihanoukville to the extraordinary temple complex of Angkor Wat in Cambodia; as well as a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, renowned for its emerald waters and limestone islands topped with rainforests. The company is the Official Cruise Partner of UNESCO World Heritage, with more than 400 tour options available to operate at UNESCO sites in more than 70 countries.

Seabourn itinerary highlights include:

• Seabourn Ovation – The most recent addition to the Seabourn fleet will head into fall 2020 departing Athens bound for Dubai on a 16-day voyage through the Holy Land and Arabia, followed by a 16-day voyage through Arabia and India with the ship arriving in Singapore in early December. Beginning late December through February 2021, Seabourn Ovation will sail on a series of 14-day Thailand & Vietnam voyages between Hong Kong and Singapore, visiting Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia. The ship will also visit China and Philippines on a 14-day Gems of the South China Sea voyage departing January 31, 2021. In March, the ship departs for an 18-day trip from Singapore to Dubai, visiting destinations in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, India, and United Arab Emirates. Seabourn Ovation's season in Asia will come to a close with an 18-day voyage from Dubai to Athens, setting her up for Europe starting in late April 2020.

• Seabourn Encore – Seabourn Encore will head into fall 2020 visiting destinations in Southern Europe starting with a 10-day cruise from Valletta, Malta to Athens, followed by an 18-day cruise of the Holy Land and Arabia bound for Dubai. The better part of November will be dedicated to an 18-day voyage to Singapore, with calls in Oman, United Arab Emirates, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. She will then return to focus on Indonesia with a 10-day cruise from Singapore to Benoa (Denpasar), including two final days in Bali. Then it will be onto Australia with a 16-day voyage to Sydney, including overnights in Darwin, Cairns, and Sydney, as well as cruising the Great Barrier Reef. The ship will then sail on six 16-day cruises between Sydney and Auckland, exploring the wonders "down under" and the "Land of the Long White Cloud." Seabourn Encore will then retrace its route with 17 days from Sydney to Benoa; 10 days from Benoa to Singapore; and 18 days from Singapore to Dubai. Following an 18-day voyage from Dubai, the ship arrives at Athens in mid-May, when it will begin its summer season in Europe.

• Seabourn Quest – During fall 2020, Seabourn Quest will head south and sail along the western edge of South America, starting with a 22-day Panama & South America voyage from Miami. The ship will sail to Puerto Limon (San Jose), Costa Rica, followed by a full transit of the Panama Canal, and then sail along the coasts of Ecuador, Peru and Chile before arriving at San Antonio, the port for Santiago, Chile. Leaving November behind, the ship will turn toward her Antarctic season with five 21- to 24-day voyages between San Antonio and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Each voyage will include a six-day Antarctic Experience, where guests will have opportunities to step ashore on the "White Continent," dependent on weather conditions. At the start of spring, Seabourn Quest will depart Buenos Aires for 21 days to sail along the Brazilian coast and Amazon to Manaus. In early April, she will head out of the Amazon from Manaus to Miami over 15 days, including Devil's Island and several islands of the Caribbean. The ship will make its way across the Atlantic Ocean on a 15-day voyage to Rotterdam, The Netherlands, for the start of summer in Europe, with stops at the Azores of Portugal, as well as Normandy, France, and Bruges, Belgium along the way.

• Seabourn Odyssey – From fall 2020 through winter 2021, Seabourn Odyssey will be traversing the Caribbean Sea with the return of its popular and combinable seven-day voyages either round trip from Bridgetown, Barbados or between Bridgetown and Philipsburg, Sint Maarten. There will be 20 seven-day Caribbean cruises for the ship altogether, each perfect for new-to-Seabourn guests and Seabourn Club members yearning for a quick Seabourn experience. For those seeking a longer time on board, guests may book back-to-back voyages without any ports repeated. Finally, in early April, the ship will take a 14-day route from Bridgetown to Miami, featuring stops at Curaçao, St. Lucia, Aruba, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and more. Seabourn Odyssey will then sail westbound for a 21-day voyage to Los Angeles, with destinations along Columbia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Mexico, and a full transit of the Panama Canal in between. Then it'll be off to the ship's summer season in Alaska and British Columbia, beginning with a 6-day cruise from Los Angeles to Vancouver starting in mid-May.

• Seabourn Sojourn – As 2020 draws to a close, Seabourn Sojourn will be cruising the Caribbean through fall. The season will start with a 21-day voyage from Los Angeles to Miami, with destinations along the Pacific coast of Mexico and Central America leading to a full west-to-east transit of the Panama Canal, followed by Colombia, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Five Caribbean voyages will follow, with 12-Day cruises sailing either round trip from Miami or between Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico with destinations including St. Barthélemy, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and the British Virgin Islands. The voyages include Seabourn's popular Caviar in the Surf and beach barbecue. Then, beginning January 3, 2021, Seabourn Sojourn will embark upon the 140-day World Cruise: Extraordinary Oceans. Guests who join for the entire voyage will sail east-to-west from Miami visiting extraordinary and visit 60 noteworthy destinations in 32 countries around the world, including in Central and South America, the islands of the South Pacific, Australia, Indonesia, and Africa.

New Seafood Restaurant by Rudi Sodamin to Debut on Mardi Gras
Carnival Cruise Line announced today that a new seafood restaurant designed by acclaimed culinary artist Rudi Sodamin will be among the varied dining options on Mardi Gras when it debuts next summer.

Sodamin’s reputation for curating unique dining experiences will lend itself to Rudi’s Seagrill which will offer dishes as artistic as they are flavorful. In addition to an extensive selection of seafood entrees and sides, there will also be several dishes presented as playful “food faces” that double as Instagram-worthy pieces of art.

“We wanted to offer our guests a new and exciting dinner-time option that is as sophisticated as our steakhouses but takes our tradition of fun to the next level,” said Cyrus Marfatia, vice president of culinary and dining for Carnival Cruise Line. “Rudi’s Seagrill will feature next-level seafood delicacies and showcase Rudi’s innovative artistry and ‘plates with personalities’ where guests can feast their eyes on a new personable presentation every time they dine – we’re sure everyone will enjoy them.”

“I’ve spent decades perfecting dishes for my restaurants both onboard and ashore, but it has been such a special experience to partner with Carnival to bring this exciting restaurant concept to life,” said Sodamin. “I believe the quality of a restaurant starts on the plate, so with Rudi’s Seagrill, I want guests to enjoy the food and feel connected to their meals in a fun and engaging way.”

Creatively crafted with a keen attention to detail, the menu at Rudi’s Seagrill will feature a selection of appetizers, entrees and desserts presented as food faces including big eye tuna, grilled branzino, seared scallops and apple cheese cake.

Guests can also choose from a full menu of dishes including crab cake, salt-roasted prawns, broiled lobster tail, and chocolate truffle cake. For guests who prefer non-seafood options, there will be plenty of alternatives, as well.

Sodamin’s entrée into the culinary world began with an apprenticeship in Austria at age 14 which led to earning the title as youngest chef at sea leading a team of 260 culinary professionals. Sodamin, one of the hospitality industry’s most innovative chefs, serves as Holland America Line’s Master Chef, is a member of a number of prestigious culinary organizations including the Club des Chefs des Chefs and has authored a dozen cookbooks including “Food Faces” which features 150 vibrant images of his edible creations. The book as well as other merchandise will be sold onboard Mardi Gras.

Situated on Deck 8 between La Piazza and Summer Landing, Rudi’s Seagrill will boast an 80-seat indoor dining room with warm lighting and stylish design elements as well as an al fresco area on The Lanai. From creative décor to distinctive table settings, the restaurant will offer a fun and immersive atmosphere with Sodamin’s food face-themed artwork front and center as well as highlights including fish-shaped ‘Gurgle Pots’ that make comical gurgling sounds when poured and plates featuring Rudi’s most beloved food. Rudi’s Seagrill will carry a reservations fee in line with Carnival’s other full-service specialty restaurants.

Currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, Mardi Gras is slated to enter service in Europe Aug. 31, 2020, before repositioning to New York for a series of voyages then shift to Port Canaveral for year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning in Oct. 2020.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 44.50 - 0.45%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 119.42 + 0.86%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.79 - 5.95%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 53.97 + 0.90%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which famous liner is credited with starting the Art Deco movement at sea and what year did she enter service?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which former cruise ship started her career running cruise/ferry service between New York and the Bahamas

Answer - The ship was the Island Escape (formerly Viking Serenade and Scandinavia). It used to sail as the Scandinavia when it sailed the New York/Bahamas route as a cruise/ferry.
courtesy of Carlos Ortega


Cruise News - November 18, 2019

Virgin Voyages sets sights on the Med for second ship 'Valiant Lady'
Virgin Voyages announced this week that their second ship will be called ‘Valiant Lady’ and that she will sail 7-night Mediterranean itineraries out of Barcelona, Spain when she debuts in May 2021. Bookings for the three feature itineraries, that all offer overnight and late night stops across some of the hottest destinations in France, Italy and Spain, will open in December 2019.

“We are thrilled to unveil the name of our second ship - Valiant Lady - and to deliver on our commitment to offer travelers a sea change in how they can experience cruising in this fantastic part of the world. Our Sailors will fall in love with the places we go and the moments and memories they will be able to create on our gorgeous ship. After all, there is no better way to sail the seven seas than doing it the Virgin way,” said Tom McAlpin, CEO of Virgin Voyages.

2021 Summers on the Med with a home in Barcelona
Valiant Lady will dock just steps from Las Ramblas at the World Trade Center Barcelona, positioning Sailors as close to the heart of this stunning departure-port-city as possible. This prime location, usually reserved by luxury liners and mega-yachts, gives walking access to the dynamic and diverse neighborhoods of Poble Sec, el Raval, Barri Gotic, Port Vell and the famed urban beach of La Barceloneta. With a weekly Sunday sail away, sailors will enjoy extra time in Barcelona and be able to take advantage of many different flight options. Virgin Voyages is partnering with Global Ports Holding, the world’s leading independent cruise port operator, to prepare for Valiant Lady’s arrival in early summer 2021.

Open for bookings December 2019, 7 night sailings start May 2021 and feature an overnight in Ibiza The Med, home to some of the world’s best beach clubs, cultural experiences, restorative spas, yacht clubs and nightlife, is a perfect choice for Virgin Voyages. Valiant Lady will sail 3 different itineraries with truly breathtaking ports of call.

• Itinerary 1 includes the exotic delights of Barcelona, Ibiza, Monte Carlo, Marseille and Olbia

• Itinerary 2 includes a fantastic sampling of the Med featuring Barcelona, Ibiza, Toulon, Ajaccio, Marina di Carrara and Cagliari

• Itinerary 3 is a mostly Spanish immersion, stopping by Barcelona, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca, Malaga and the British port of Gibraltar

Hearing Sailor and First Mates (travel partners) requests for later stays in ports, Virgin has delivered this on every itinerary. This means Sailors have the flexibility to make the most of their time in port and take in all that these destinations have to offer. Of particular note, every sailing features a Friday overnight stay in Ibiza, one of the most stunning and thrilling Balearic islands. Whether it’s a blissed out beach club, a bohemian market, a serene spa, watching the stunning sunsets, or a late night out, there is no comparable place that offers the variety and style of this ultimate destination.

Virgin Voyages new cruise ship which plans to sail in the Mediterranean with destinations throughout Europe.

Virgin Voyages also revealed that the name ‘Valiant Lady’ was inspired by the latin word valere and from the French origin, vaillant, meaning “bold”, “strong”, and “courageous." While historically, the image of women only graced the bows of ships to bring protection to a vessel, ‘Valiant Lady’ embodies the idea that women design, captain, lead and champion change in the maritime industry.

The Scarlet Lady’s sister ship ‘Valiant Lady’ will continue Virgin Voyages’ ‘Scarlet Squad’ program aimed at recruiting, supporting and mentoring female shipboard talent, and growing opportunities to access leadership roles in onboard areas such as marine, technical and hotel management that statistically show low numbers of female leadership.

All Virgin Voyages ships have been designed by a leading creative collective who are the brains behind some of the world’s most loved boutique hotel brands. The collective includes names like Design Research Studio (Tom Dixon), Roman & Williams and Concrete Amsterdam who have all been inspired by the brand’s design concept- the Modern Romance of Sailing and Mission to Redefine the Experience of a Vacation at Sea.

Celebrity Cruises To Set Sail With First-Ever All-Female Bridge And Officer Team
While progress has been made, the reality is that only 2% of the world's mariners are women. But not at Celebrity Cruises. The modern luxury brand is leading the industry into a more diverse future with their bold initiatives to #BRIDGEthegap. Now, the brand that made headlines by hiring the first American female cruise ship captain, Kate McCue, and again by announcing that 22% of their bridge teams are made up of women, is now continuing with another historic milestone: the announcement of the first-ever sailing with an entirely female bridge and officer team.

This historic sailing will take place on International Women's Day – March 8, 2020 – aboard the brand's newest and award winning ship, Celebrity Edge. Captain McCue will be at the helm and will be accompanied by 26 other women to create an all-female bridge and officer leadership team, and Celebrity's President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo.

"We are all passionate about closing the gender gap," said Lutoff-Perlo. "Over the last few years, we have worked hard to diversify the crew on board and bring more women than ever into our industry. None of this could have been possible without the leadership and shared vision of the extraordinary men and women I work with every day, led by Patrik Dahlgren and Brian Abel – who take this challenge to heart and have made it possible. We are fortunate to have many incredible, experienced and beyond-qualified women who have worked tirelessly to achieve these positions. And we also celebrate the many men who continue to support them and help champion having more women crew onboard."

Senior Vice President of Global Marine Operations for Royal Caribbean Crusies Ltd. Patrik Dahlgren, who has spearheaded Celebrity's bridge diversification efforts under the leadership of Lutoff-Perlo, added: "Since 2015, we have raised the percentage of qualified women on our navigational bridges from 3% to 22%. Now, we hope this all-time industry-high will continue to grow; we just need more women to raise their hands for careers at sea, especially in engineering."

"Excitement does not even begin to describe how I'm feeling about working alongside these incredible, barrier-breaking women on Celebrity Edge for this truly historic sailing," added Captain McCue. "I am inspired every day by the amazing women we have working throughout this organization – both on land and at sea. They're proof that there's power in diversity."

The below all-women bridge and leadership team for this historic sailing of Celebrity Edge represents 17 different countries, including:

• Captain Kate McCue – USA
• Staff Captain Maria Gotor – Spain
• Hotel Director Niina Hautaniemi – Fin